Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Are you at risk for oral cancer?

Oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases if it is caught early. When you come to my office, part of the examination is to check your oral tissues for suspicious lesions.If I see the lesion and it turns out to be cancer, there is a 10% chance of a cure. But now we have the Vizilite system for early detection. If we cannot see a lesion but one is detected with the Vizilite system, there is a 90% chance for a cure. That is a big difference and that is why we offer this test.

Who is at risk then?

– Highest risk are those 40 and older with lifestyle risk factors( tobacco,alcohol, HPV virus,Previous cancers, heavy metals)

– High risk are those 40 and older without most of the life style risks but use tabacco in some form.

-Low risk are those 18 and up who are sexually active and have the HPV virus. Most men will not know they have the virus while females will have symptoms that can be treated.

-25% of all oral cancers are in patients without any risk factors whatsoever.

Oral cancer is increasing at an alarming rate (5.5% / year) and has now moved past cervical cancer. The reasons given are the increase in the use of tobacco and alcohol as well as the increase of the spread of the HPV virus in the younger adults. Regardless, I feel everyone should be checked at least once every 2-3 years and yearly with those with the risk factors present.

The vizilite test is simple to administer as an adjunct to your regular dental appointment. You will swish the test solution for 30 seconds .spit it out and then we examine your tissues using a special light and glasses.The whole test takes less the 5 minutes and costs only $65. If a lesion is found, we will send you to the appropriate health care provider for a biopsy. Many lesions found with the vizilite test are not malignant and require no treatment,but they are a warning sign for you to change your lifestyle ( stop using tobacco, decrease alcohol consumption, treat the HPV virus if you have it).

We have the vizilite test available for all who wish to have it done. Just call and have it scheduled at any of your appointments.