Oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. One American dies every hour from oral cancer. The most common risk factors are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures. Although most oral cancers are found in people who use tobacco and/or drink alcohol excessively, 25 percent of oral cancers occur in people who have no risk factors at all.
Your dentist could very well be your number one soldier in the fight against oral cancer. Statistics show in about 10 percent of patients, dentists notice a problem area even before the patient notices. During a regular dental check up, your dentist will examine your entire mouth, searching for a flat, painless, white or red spot or small sore. Other signs of oral cancer can include:
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
- A color change of the oral tissues.
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small, eroded area.
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips.
Two tests can determine if a trouble spot is cancerous. A brush biopsy is a painless test performed on areas that look harmless or do not have a clear cause. This test can detect potentially dangerous cells in the early stages of the disease. A scalpel biopsy, which requires local anesthesia, is usually performed on suspicious areas.
Remember to schedule regular check ups for everyone in your family. Two visits per year are recommended for general care. If, between visits, you notice any unusual changes in your mouth, call your dentist immediately. Together you and your dentist can fight and win the battle against oral cancer. For more information about oral cancer, support groups, or treatments, visit www.oralcancerfoundation.org.
The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that roughly 100 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer every day in the U.S. alone. What's more, oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical cancer or skin cancer. Now, consider this. When patients are diagnosed during the earliest stages of the disease, the cure rate is around 90%, but when patients aren't diagnosed until later, the cure rate is only about 10%.
These sobering statistics explain why Dr. Perez is committed screening every one of his patients for oral cancer with ViziLite® Plus. Using ViziLite Plus, Dr. Perez can easily identify and diagnose oral cancer during its earliest stages, when it can be almost impossible to identify with the naked eye.
Here's how ViziLite Plus works. After Dr. Perez has completed an initial oral exam, patients will simply need to rinse with the ViziLite Plus Pre-Rinse Solution. Then, Dr. Perez will use a special light to complete a second oral exam. With this light, areas that may be of concern will glow white. If we find anything, we can do further tests to see if cancer can be ruled out as the cause. If it is cancer, though, we can take immediate action and begin treating it, helping you get back on the road to health.
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Let’s create your beautiful smile! Call Vineyard Dental in Grapevine, TX today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Perez. Our Grapevine dental office serves Grapevine, Colleyville, Euless, Bedford, Hurst, Keller, Southlake, and surrounding areas with personalized service and comprehensive care.