Did you know that 1 in 92 adults will develop some form of oral or pharyngeal cancer in their life, according to the American Dental Association? And while the average age of onset of this cancer is 62 years old, your risk of developing it sooner rises if you have a family history of it, use tobacco or frequently drink alcohol.
The good news is, finding and treating oral or pharyngeal cancer early greatly increases your chances of treatment success. Even though oral cancer is a life-threatening condition, when it is caught and treated early, it is also one of the most treatable cancers!
Our dentist, Dr. James Powell at Exceptional Dentistry in Palmdale, CA, includes a basic oral cancer screening at every dental checkup to examine your tongue, throat, face, and neck for any signs of swelling or discoloration. We will also ask about any family history of oral cancer if you regularly consume alcohol or tobacco which are the top three factors that put you at higher risk of succumbing to this insidious disease.
VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening
Our Exceptional Dentistry team is committed to helping our patients achieve excellent oral and overall health, which is why we perform oral cancer checks when you visit our office for treatment. Dr. Powell himself will perform a 2- to 3-minute oral cancer screening using state-of-the-art technology. This device uses a blue light to make it easier for our dentist to spot any abnormalities in your mouth and throat so that immediate treatment can begin to stop the disease in its tracks and its damaging effects as soon as possible.
Oral cancer targets the following areas:
- Bottom of the mouth
- Palates (both hard and soft)
Using this advanced VELscope® oral cancer screening system means Dr. Powell can use this device in combination with (or in place of) traditional cancer screenings. Typical oral cancer screenings often mean looking at the mouth and throat without special instruments or resorting to dyes to spot abnormalities.
But Dr. Powell prefers providing the comfortable and precise treatment VELscope®offers using its blue light. The light is harmless to you while also “lighting up” the oral tissues so they look fluorescent. This allows Dr. Powell to find the patterns of healthy tissue contrasted with any cancerous lesions or abnormalities that show up as dark spots (from soaking up the blue light). Thanks to VELscope®, we can get accurate results while letting us know there are areas that need to be treated as early as possible.
Schedule an oral cancer screening if you notice these symptoms:
- A persistent sore, irritation or thickness on your face, mouth, or neck that easily bleeds and won’t heal within two weeks
- Areas inside your mouth that look white, red or speckled
- Areas on the lips, gums or mouth that feel rough or bumpy spots
- Chronic nosebleeds
- Chronic sore throat, or feeling like there is something stuck in your throat
- Ear pain that doesn’t interfere with hearing
- Hoarseness in the throat
- Oral bleeding you can’t explain
- Numbness in areas you can’t explain (mouth, face or neck)
- Problems with chewing, swallowing or speaking
- Swelling in your jaw or neck areas
- Unexpected weight loss
- Your dentures don’t fit right anymore
Don’t Delay, Call Today!
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer, please don’t put off contacting our Exceptional Dentistry team to schedule an appointment as soon as possible, your health may depend on it! If you want to learn more about oral cancer or to schedule your next oral cancer screening, give us a call today at (661) 349-7725 or schedule your online reservation. Our dentist looks forward to helping you detect abnormalities using VELscope® oral cancer screening in Palmdale, California.