Common names for oral cancer include the following:
- Mouth cancer
- Tongue cancer
- Tonsil cancer
- Throat cancer
“Approximately 43,250 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2014,” according to OralCancerFoundation.org. “While some think this is a rare cancer, mouth cancers will be newly diagnosed in about 115 new individuals each day in the US alone, and a person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day.”
Early detection of oral cancer is the key to long term survival.
The death rate is so high due to late detection. Usually, oral cancer is discovered only after it has metastasized to other areas. The secondary tumor is often the first lesion detected, allowing the oral cancer time to spread and invade deeper tissue layers.
Patients who survive their first encounter with oral cancer have a twenty times higher risk of developing a second cancer. Ninety percent of oral cancer is Squamous Cell Carcinoma with the other ten percent being more rare types of cancer.
It is estimated that 3.2 million dollars is spent treating head and neck cancer in the United States each year.
Since early detection is the key to long term survival, it is important to have regular oral health evaluations. At Dr. Dawn Gayken, DDS, we use the most advanced technology, which includes ViziLite® Plus. This exam is an integral part of our annual comprehensive oral screening program.
ViziLite® Plus is an oral lesion identification and marking system performed in our dental office. It is a painless exam that takes just a few minutes. It identifies abnormalities not visible under normal light. The process includes dye that can mark suspicious lesions. Depending on the outcome of the screening, the Dr. Gayken will decide on what steps should be taken.
Are you at risk?
Twenty-five percent of oral cancers occur in people who have never smoked and have no other risk factors.
You are at increased risk if:
- You are 40 or older.
- You are 18-39 and have used tobacco, had oral HPV, and/or chronically use alcohol.
- Patients 65 or older with lifestyle risk factors.
- Have had a history of oral cancer.
For more information about oral cancer or if you want to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.