Oral Cancer

These are two words that we, as dentists, hope they will never have to say to a patient. Oral cancer kills one American every hour of every single day. A number of famous people have become victims of oral cancer, among them Babe Ruth, Sigmund Freud, Bill Blass and Jack Klugman. We know that when a lesion is found in the mouth that may be squamous cell carcinoma, there is a 50% to 70% chance that the patient may not live past the next five years. They will also need radical surgery and major reconstruction that runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and causes immeasurable pain and suffering.

By the way, the number one finding of a recent dental patient survey done by the Crown Council was that patients want to hear more about oral cancer. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently did a story on oral cancer. Consumers are ready to get involved with learning more about their mouths and certainly want to be involved with oral cancer prevention.

When you look at other cancer awareness programs, some organizations have done an absolutely outstanding job at creating a very high awareness of certain types of cancer. Every woman knows how to do a breast cancer self-exam and routinely goes for mammograms, and everyone over the age of 50 knows that it is time to go for a colonoscopy. These types of self-examinations and screenings have helped to save many, many lives over the years and have reduced the mortality rate of these dreaded cancers very substantially.

An established self-examination for oral cancer would be a huge help in finding abnormalities or incipient oral cancer lesions early on. This kind of self-examination, much like a breast examination or a skin examination, is easy to do, does not require any special equipment and will help familiarize people with their own mouths. The primary benefit is early detection of any unusual lesions in the patients’ mouths and the secondary benefit would be consumers becoming much more familiar with their mouths, which would prompt them to seek treatment for oral health issues that they usually ignore.

Oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases when it’s caught early. That’s whythe ViziLite Plusexam has been developed.ViziLite Plususes technology that has proven successful in identifying soft tissue abnormalities in other areas of the body. A ViziLite Plus exam isparticularly important if you are at increased risk for developing oral cancer.

The ViziLite Plus exam can help us identify abnormal tissue, that might develop into oral cancer.

An annual ViziLite Plus exam, in combination with a regular visual examination, provides a comprehensive oral screening procedure for patients at increased risk for oral cancer. The ViziLite Plus exam is painless and fast, and could help save your life.

Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry (including Dental Implants and teeth whitening),is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community.

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