In our continuing efforts to provide the highest standard of care available to our patients, this practice is proud to announce that we are now certified in Vizilite Plus Oral Cancer Screenings.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Usually shows up as a small red or white patch only 3-4 mm in diameter. It is found anywhere in the mouth including lips, tongue, palate or any mucous membrane. It is not painful and the patient does not know it is there. It is often raised in appearance and touch.
How is Oral Cancer Formed?
Normal cells are always dividing and growing new cells. The cells sometimes mutate and become cancer cells. They continue to grow because the body's defenses cannot differentiate these cancer cells from normal cells. This allows the cancer cells to grow and destroy adjoining tissues.
How Can We Prevent It?
People who show a predilection for oral cancers are those who smoke and drink alcohol heavily. Therefore, not doing this would prevent many cases. The next best thing is early detection, which would lead to early treatment. The earlier treatment is started, the more successful, it will be.
How Serious is Oral Cancer? What is the Worst that Can Happen?
Oral cancer is very serious. Approximately 30,000 people die each year from this disease. In addition, treatment involves radiation and surgery, both of which can be disfiguring and debilitating. Parts of the tongue, teeth and bone are often lost.
Cost and Cure?
Costs can be staggering because it can be lifelong struggle. Hospital costs, Doctor's costs, rehabilitation costs, etc. can be extremely expensive. In addition, follow up and continual care is ongoing.
Every time you go to a dentist you should receive a cancer exam. If your dentist does not perform one then insist on one. It only takes a few moments and is non-invasive. In addition, you can examine yourself. Look in a mirror with a bright light and check your tongue and cheeks for any unusual patches or bumps. If any unusual areas, go see your dentist.