April is Oral Cancer Awareness month sponsored by the American Dental Association. Oral cancer is a major growing health concern in the United States. Frequently a deadly form of cancer early diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. Although oral cancer screenings are quick and painless, many go without one for years due to a lack of dental and medical preventative care.
Chesapeake, VA dentist Dr. John Cranham offers state of the art oral cancer screening as part of routine dental care visits. VelScope allows for more accurate and earlier diagnosis for a chance at effective treatment.
What is Velscope?
Velscope is a dental technology that uses blue fluorescent light for the examination of the soft tissues of the mouth. Abnormal areas will appear differently under the light signal the need for further evaluation. Velscope can spot signs of cancer before the naked eye is able to see abnormal cell growth. This technology can help save lives. Velscope aids in spotting oral cancer in the earliest stage, when treatment is likely to be both conservative and successful.
Notice The Signs of Oral Cancer
If you notice any changes in your oral health that persist for more than two weeks, be sure to schedule a visit to Dr. Cranham. Check your mouth frequently for any of the following 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
Know the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Any patient has the potential to develop oral cancer and everyone should be screened twice a year. However, there are certain risk factors both genetic and lifestyle, that could increase your chance of getting oral cancer.
- Smoking, Chewing or Vaping Tobacco
- Exposure or Diagnosis of HPV
- Aged over 45
- Frequent sun exposure
Biannual dental check ups with Dr. Cranham for routine dental cleanings and exams can help in early diagnosis of many complex oral health concerns, including oral cancer. 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 a partner in the overall health care of his patients, helping them to enjoy a good quality of life every day.