You might not have heard yet, but April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. This is a very big deal for us here in Carrollton, TX because we have some of the highest rates of oral cancer in the entire country! Over 43,000 people are going to be diagnosed with oral cancer in the year 2015, and we want to make sure that our patients are as safe as possible.
We take great strides to educate our patients about the risks and damage of oral cancer, but we know that sometimes the damage has been done before anyone thinks about it. By the time a patient finds out about the risks, it is too late.
We are trying to break that cycle, and we hope that you will join us in our effort. We include an oral cancer screening as a part of routine exams because we know that the best way to survive any form of cancer is to learn your diagnosis early! Today, we want to talk more about oral cancer and how it can be detected early using our state-of-the-art VELscope®!
Oral Cancer isn’t Always Associated with Tobacco Use
The first thing you need to know is that oral cancer is not limited to tobacco users. This used to be the disease of those who smoked or chewed tobacco, but that’s no longer the case. These patients are still the majority, but there is also a growing number of patients who will suffer from oral cancer due to a connection with HPV, the sexually transmitted disease that affects millions of people every year! Still other oral cancer cases can be linked to sun exposure of the lips.
As with all forms of cancer, there is sometimes a clear connection to another condition, but there are still some cases that are completely random. The cells just become abnormal and lead to cancer, which is why it is important that all patients get scanned for oral cancer on a routine basis.
Early Diagnosis is Essential for Successful Treatment
Most cancers function in a similar way. If we can detect the abnormal cells early, we can take care of the problem early! Just think, while a cancer is still small and manageable, we can remove it in its entirety, and you get to go about your life. However, if a cancer is allowed to grow and expand from one area of your mouth to another, treatment becomes much more complex and difficult.
To make sure our patients are catching the signs of oral cancer early, we offer an oral cancer screening using the VELscope®. In other offices, the dentist will do a visual exam of your mouth, but VELscope® ensures that we see every part of your mouth for what it is. You’ll feel much more at ease knowing that we are able to do a thorough look with this special instrument.
Quick and Easy – A VELscope® screening only takes a minute or two. It is completely comfortable. It is essentially the same as shining a flashlight in your mouth, but we are using a very special light!
Identifies More Harmful Tissue – The VELscope® uses a blue light that can identify abnormal cells associated with oral cancer. It can even see what is going on below the surface of your soft tissues so that we are sure to catch any and all signs of trouble!
Great for Measuring Progress of Treatment – If you were to be diagnosed with oral cancer and treated, we would use the VELscope® to monitor your progress with your treatment. We would check to ensure that all abnormal cells are gone and stay that way!
FDA Approved – There are many shiny new tools out there that haven’t been tested or approved by the major organizations we have come to trust. The VELscope® HAS undergone those tests and is still here as a standard for fantastic oral cancer screening technology.
Protect Yourself with Checks
It is important that you take the time to protect yourself from oral cancer by having routine checks done. You might not think that you are at risk, but is it worth it to put your life on the line? Especially when the scan itself is so simple and comfortable?
Contact us today to set up an appointment for an exam or cleaning. We would love to see you and your smile, and we would love to be able to send you back out the door without any fear of oral cancer! We can’t wait to see you!