Today, nearly 100 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States. For the fifth straight year in a row, the oral cancer rate is increasing. Approximately 42,000 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013. Unfortunately, this is not a rare cancer. Contrary to what many people believe, oral cancer is not just caused by heavy tobacco use.
The second primary cause of oral cancer is exposure to the human papilloma virus, or HPV-16 specifically. The HPV-16 virus is transmitted through the skin or sexual contact. This is the same virus that causes most cervical cancers in women.
The good news is, that if detected at early stages, oral cancer has up to a 90% survival rate! The question now becomes, how is oral cancer detected? Oral cancer screenings are available at your local dentist. Gilreath Family Dentistry proudly offers oral cancer screenings to our patients. At each visit, the doctors and hygienists evaluate the oral tissues for obvious cancer lesions. Always be sure to discuss any new bumps or ulcers or unusually colored parts of your mouth or throat with your doctor. We also recommend that you have an advanced cancer screening once every year. This advanced screening uses a specific medical device (ViziLite or VELscope) which involves special light that shows the cancer before it is visible to our eyes. This procedure is totally painless and non-invasive. It does not use dyes or stains and only takes a couple of minutes to perform. Most insurance companies will cover the screening cost, or you may use it towards a flexible spending or health-savings account.
Be proactive with your health, especially your oral health. Unfortunately, the majority of oral cancers are found as late stage cancers, which accounts for the very high death rate of about 43% at five years from diagnosis. Contact Gilreath Family Dentistry today for your oral cancer screening.
Posted on behalf of Gilreath Family Dentistry
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,