(Especially for Patients Over 45)
Oral cancer is like many other cancers in one way: it’s more likely to be treated successfully if it’s caught in its early stages. When oral cancer is detected in its later stages, the five-year survival rate actually drops from 83 to around 50.
Most patients who develop oral cancer are over the age of 45, but many young people are also the target of this scary disease. Smokers and tobacco users can consider themselves at a greater risk for oral cancer – along with heavy alcohol users, frequent sun bathers, or those who spend a lot of time outdoors without UVA/UVB protection. Patients with HPV16, a strain of the Human Papillomavirus, are also at a greater risk for oral cancer.
The VELscope® Vx System
South Muskoka Dental uses VELscope® Vx technology to effectively detect oral cancer in its early stages. This convenient handheld device helps dentists safely visualize any abnormalities in the oral tissues by emitting a bright blue-spectrum light, causing soft tissues in the mouth to fluoresce. The system can detect early signs of oral cancer that would otherwise be undetectable by the human eye.
If oral cancer is detected in a patient, they may either need to undergo chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiotherapy or surgery to treat their condition. Sometimes, a combination of treatments is needed. Every case is unique.
Making the Right Changes
You can help to lower your risk of developing oral cancer by not smoking or using tobacco products, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and protecting your lips from the sun’s damaging rays. In addition, do what you can to protect yourself against HPV. See your dentist at least every 6 months or whenever necessary for a check-up or oral cancer screening.
Keeping a proactive and positive attitude towards your oral health is always important. To book an oral cancer screening with your Huntsville dentist, give us a call today at 705-789-9066.