Detecting Oral Cancer
Tobacco, excessive alcohol use and certain strains of HPV are the leading causes of oral cancer, but approximately 25% of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors. Nearly 36,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year.
A thorough oral cancer screening takes about five minutes and is a crucial part of the hygiene visit. There are several ways to look for oral cancer. One is a visual exam. Our hygienists can see the upper throat, lips, inside the mouth. They perform bi-manual palpation, feeling the lips, the cheeks, the floor of the mouth and the tongue for lumps or bumps that don´t belong.
Additionally, we use VELscope (an instrument that uses a specific light wavelength) to detect abnormal, potentially cancerous tissue in the mouth.
We cannot think of a more valuable service that we can provide our patients.