Oral Cancer Screening
About Oral Cancer
Most people are surprised to learn that one American dies every hour from oral cancer; a death rate that has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years. In fact, recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society indicate that while the incidence and death rates for cancers overall has decreased, the incidence of oral cancer has increased by 5.5% and the death rate has increased by 1.5%
Oral cancer is far too often discovered in late stage development, the primary reason for the consistently high death rate. Oral cancer treatment often results in disfiguring effects on patients, and can seriously compromise their quality of life. Early detection and diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in life expectancy; oral cancer is 90% curable when found in its early stages. Unfortunately, 70% of oral cancers are diagnosed in the late stages, III and IV, leading to a five-year survival rate of 57%.
ViziLite Plus Oral Lesion Identification and Marking System
When oral cancer is found early, treatment can be successful 90% of the time. Unfortunately, when compared to the survival rate of other cancers, the survival rate of oral cancer has not improved greatly over the last 30 years.
Because early detection is a key to survival, it is important to see your dentist regularly. An annual screening exam called ViziLite Plus with TBlue, used in conjunction with a routine head and neck examination performed by your dentist or hygienist, can help to find abnormalities that could lead to cancer. That’s the kind of screening that could help save lives.
Are You At Risk?
- Patients age 40 and older (95% of all cases)
- 18-39 years of age combined with the following:
- Tobacco use
- Chronic alcohol consumption
- Oral HPV infection
- Patients age 65 and older with lifestyle risk factors
- Patients with history of oral cancer
25% of oral cancers occur in people who don’t smoke and have no other risk factors.
How Does ViziLite Plus Work?
The ViziLite exam is a painless exam that your dental professional can perform in just a few minutes. ViziLite Plus uses a light source that helps to improve the examiner’s ability to identify abnormalities that may have been missed under normal lighting. Your dental professional will conduct the exam.