Although rarely spoken of, oral cancer is a critical concern. Over 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or throat cancer every year, and every year, 8,000 of those Americans lose the fight. At closer look, that equals to about one person per hour, 24 hours a day. Slightly more than half of people diagnosed with oral cancer may survive past five years. Lake Orion dentist Dr. Brad Greenfield discusses the reason behind oral cancer’s high mortality rate, and how we can try to reduce those numbers.
The Oral Cancer Dilemma
By the time most people discover that they have oral cancer, the disease has already spread to other tissues within the body. Once the cancer spreads, the mortality rate is drastically increased. In fact, in cases of early detection, the survival rate of oral cancer equals about 90%. Survival rates for late detection oral cancer patients are much lower, falling to about 57%. In order to reduce the mortality of oral cancer, experts are trying diligently to devise new detection methods that will greatly improve the survival rate. Barry Wenig, a professor at Michigan State University, aim to conduct a study along with Delta Dental of Michigan’s Research and Data Institute to understand and hopefully learn to detect oral cancer. The study will involve 100-120 patients that exhibit possibly cancerous lesions or growths in their mouths. Wenig and his team hope to track certain biomarkers that have been shown to prove the existence of oral cancer. By producing an oral cancer saliva test, Wenig and his team hope to eliminate occurrences of patients needlessly receiving biopsies, as well as improve early detection in oral cancer screenings.
Advanced Oral Screening at Lake Orion Dentistry
Until the biomarkers are found and tracked, and extensive research done to complete an oral cancer saliva test, you can still receive state-of-the-art oral cancer screenings at your Lake Orion dentist’s office. Based on a deceptively simple light system, our VELScope technology highlights abnormal oral tissues that may prove cancerous. You can reduce your risk of oral cancer by maintaining a strong and healthy mouth through daily brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups every six months.
To learn more about oral cancer screening, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Greenfield, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, Michigan, at (248) 693-6213. We welcome patients from Lake Orion, Oxford, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, and the surrounding communities.