Oral cancer rates continue to rise worldwide, and the Oral Cancer Foundation predicts that over 45,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2015 in the United States alone.
One of the major factors affecting the rate of this type of cancer is a lack of prevention through routine oral cancer screening. Although oral cancer screening is quick, painless and relatively inexpensive, many go without it for years due to a lack of dental and medical preventative care.
Chesapeake dentist Dr. John Cranham offers oral cancer screening as part of routine dental care and has recently added Velscope technology to enhance the visual screening procedure for a more accurate evaluation of a patient’s oral cavity. Early diagnosis can often be life saving as the survival rate drops dramatically for late stage oral cancer diagnosis.
How does Velscope work?
Velscope technology uses blue fluorescent light to examine the soft tissue of the mouth. Abnormal areas will not fluoresce properly, indicating the possible presence of cancerous cells and prompting further evaluation for oral cancer.
In addition to a traditional visual examination, this technology can aid in spotting oral cancer in the early stage, when treatment is likely to be both conservative and successful. If you smoke, use tobacco of any kind or have a family history please let us know at your next visit so we can discuss your increased risk for oral cancers and how to look for the early warning signs:
- Sore or red/white patch in the mouth that does not heal
- Persistent hoarseness
- Lump in the back of the mouth or neck area
- Difficulty swallowing
Dentistry and Overall Health
Visit Dr. Cranham twice a year for routine dental cleanings and exams so he can become familiarized with your oral health and more effectively spot suspicious areas of soft tissue or the appearance of sores or lumps in the mouth or neck area.
Routine preventive dental care is important for maintaining lifelong dental health and plays a role in the prevention of health concerns such as oral cancer. Dr. Cranham seeks to be partner in the overall health care of his patients, helping them to enjoy a good quality of life every day.