Oral cancer kills one person every hour in the U.S. Thankfully, new detection methods allow dentists to more easily detect oral cancer, and treat it early.
Early detection of mouth cancer plays a major role in a patient’s chances of survival. In fact, early diagnosis improves a patient’s five year survival rate by 80-90%!
Risk Factors for Mouth Cancer
- Frequent use of tobacco products
- Family history of cancer
- Excessive sun exposure
- Alcohol consumption
While patients with these risk factors are more likely to develop mouth cancer, it can affect anyone. We recommend that even low-risk patients come in for an oral cancer screening every year.
Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
Common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Red or white spots or sores in the mouth
- A sore that bleeds easily or fails to heal properly
- A lump, thickening, or rough spot
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness in the mouth or on the lips
- Problems chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
How does VELscope Work?
Here’s what you can expect from your comfortable VELscope oral cancer screening:
- Your dentist will administer a physical exam of the tongue, cheeks, and throat.
- VELscope emits a blue light that causes the molecules to react with a light in shades of yellow, green, or red.
- Your dentist will enhance the contrast between the normal and abnormal tissue, and look for indications of oral cancer.
The VELscope oral cancer screening only takes one to two minutes. It is completely noninvasive and painless.
The Importance of your Regular Oral Cancer Screening
Taking a few minutes to look for the signs of mouth cancer once or twice a year can ultimately save your life. Early detection is the key to successful oral cancer treatment.
VELscope is also useful in detecting other oral problems that may complicate chewing, talking, swallowing, and sleeping. This advanced diagnostic tool can bring several problems to light and protect your future health.
Schedule an Oral Cancer Screening in Anchorage or Wasilla, AK!
When is the last time you asked your dentist about mouth cancer? We can complete your screening within minutes as a part of your regular exam. To schedule your next oral cancer screening, call Alaska Premier Dental Group today.