Oral Cancer Screenings
Along with your routine hygiene visit, you will always be given a complementary oral cancer screening. It is possible today to catch oral cancer in its early stages, so that you can live a longer life with a better quality of life.
Oral Cancer Facts:
Close to 43,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year.
Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers commonly referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category. Brain cancer is a cancer category unto itself, and is not included in the head and neck cancer group.
Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Today, (2014) that statement is still true, as there is not a comprehensive program in the US to opportunistically screen for the disease, and without that; late stage discovery is more common. Another obstacle to early discovery (and resulting better outcomes) is the advent of a virus, HPV16, contributing more to the incidence rate of oral cancers, particularly in the posterior part of the mouth (the oropharynx, the tonsils, the base of tongue areas) which many times does not produce visible lesions or discolorations that have historically been the early warning signs of the disease process.
Information from the Oral Cancer Foundation.
Oral HPV Screenings:
Along with oral cancer screenings, we offer an oral HPV screening to determine if you are at risk from the viruses that cause oral cancer.
Oral Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can be transmitted with just close contact between people. Low-risk oral HPV types lead to a wart. High-risk oral HPV types may present as a sore that won't heal, which is a worrisome sign of potential cancer. Early oral HPV infections do not typically cause any clinical signs or symptoms; thus, a visual exam would not detect people that may already have an infection caused by oral HPV. Today, however, a simple test called OraRisk HPV is available. This easy test can be performed as a part of your routine cleaning and exam.