When Was Your Last Oral Cancer Screening?

when was your last oral cancer screeningNearly 50,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Approximately 9,750 of those Americans will die from oral cancer. That means that one person dies every hour of every day from oral cancer. It is a cancer most often detected in the later stages which results in a higher mortality rate. Oral cancer is very much treatable in its early stages, but it must be caught early enough. Technology like the VELscope Enhanced Oral Assesment system allows your dentist to better detect any abnormalities that may be signs of oral cancer. Early detection can be life-saving. 

More about VELscope

VELscope is a small, handheld scope that uses a special light to detect any potential bumps, lesions, or abnormalities that might not yet be visible to the human eye. Even with magnification some abnormalities may not be detected without the use of VELscope. It is non-invasive. The screening itself is not uncomfortable and lasts only a couple of minutes.

How often should you be screened?

Every adult should receive an oral cancer screening at least once a year. Patients with a higher risk of developing oral cancer should be screened more frequently. Tobacco use and alcohol increase the risk of tobacco. Those with HIV or other auto-immune diseases are at a higher risk for developing oral cancer. People over the age of 40 and especially males over the age of 40 have an increased risk. Though 25% of all Americans diagnosed with oral cancer had no lifestyle factors to increase their risk. So, again, it is important that everyone be screened at least once a year. If you have any abnormal change in your gums that lasts more than a week, it is important to see your dentist.

Early detection and cancer screenings save lives

If it has been awhile since your last oral cancer screening, it is time to get one.  To schedule a visit for in Lake Orion, MI, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry today at 248-693-6213.