How Do We Screen For Oral Cancer?
Brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist are the best ways to maintain your oral health, yet, it can still be possible for those with great oral hygiene to develop oral cancer. Because oral cancer can be difficult to detect by symptoms alone, it is important to get an oral cancer screening regularly. At Jen Kim Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide our patients in the Kirkland, WA area Velscope oral cancer screening in order to catch and treat oral cancer early.
What are Velscope Oral Cancer Screenings?
Usually, oral cancer screenings involve your dentist feeling your face and neck for any unusual lumps and then looking at the inside of your cheeks, throat, and under the tongue for any white or red patches. In addition to this examination, we will also use Velscope to help us catch abnormalities that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as cell dysplasia. Velscope uses a bright blue light that will cause healthy tissue to become florescent, and any abnormal tissues will show up as a black spot. This can help us catch oral cancer earlier.
What Causes Oral Cancer
Tobacco use – Those who smoke are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who do not use tobacco products. While, those who chew tobacco are fifty times more likely because the tobacco enters directly into the blood through the lip, cheek, and gums.
Alcohol consumption – Those who drink alcohol excessively are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than nondrinkers or people who drink in moderation.
Genetics – Unfortunately, people who have a family history of cancer, especially oral cancer, can be at a higher risk of developing oral cancer than those who don’t, even if they are non-smokers and nondrinkers.
Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
Though the survival rate of catching oral cancer early is about eighty-three percent within the first year, it can drop to fifty percent if it is caught in its later stages. Regular cancer screenings with Velscope can help save lives. If you would like to learn more about Velscope screenings or to schedule a screening, please contact our office today!