According to recent research, 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer and worse still one person succumbs to the disease every hour. Though not enough evidence exists, the current report claims you have a 90% chance of surviving oral cancer is detected early.
In most cases, death caused by cancer is due to late detection. At Dr. Vinit Shah’s dental clinic, we understand the importance of early detection that’s we offer cancer screening as part of the regular dental exam.
We do oral cancer screening to check for precancerous lesions that have the potential of causing cancer. We can remove these lesions easily when they are detected on time.
There are two primary risk factors for oral cancer;
Other factors that can raise your risk include;
Keep in mind that a risk factor may not necessarily cause cancer, but will influence the likelihood of cancer development. Moreover, some people with these risks may never develop cancer, while those who are risk-free do.
We encourage you to know your health status and discuss the risks that can predispose you to cancer with the doctor or dentist to help you make informed lifestyle choices.
The cancer screen aims to detect a lump or lesions. So, the doctor will examine your lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, the back of the throat and roof of the mouth. Two different exams are done;
We use a variety of state-of-art devices to diagnose. Apart from tongue depressor, we employ the use of specialized equipment such as Oral CDx, VELscope (uses a blue light to identify suspicious tissues), and Orascoptic DK that releases an acidic mouthwash to aid in visual inspection of mouth tissues.
The purpose of oral cancer screening is to detect any abnormal tissues or cells. If detected, further tests may be required such as biopsy (it involves removing a small piece of lesion tissue and sending it to the lab) to determine if the tissues are cancerous or not.
The dentist or doctor may also ask you to come for a follow-up and screening especially if you have known risk factors.
Researchers and scientists continue to search for factors that cause oral cancer and ways to prevent it. Although there is still no proven way for preventing cancer, certain changes you may lower your risk.
Oral cancer screening has some limitations;
At Dr. Vinit Shah, we consult with other oral cancer screening clinics in Elmhurst for a proper diagnosis.