Early Oral Cancer Detection Can Save Lives
ACCORDING TO THE ORAL CANCER FOUNDATION roughly 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, causing over 8,000 deaths and killing approximately one person per hour each day. It’s also estimated that about $3.2 billion is spent each year in the United States on the treatment of head and neck cancers. One of the most alarming facts about this is that of those 37,000 newly diagnosed cases, barely more than half of them will be alive in five years.
Why Is The Death Rate So High For Oral Cancer?
It might surprise you to know that the reason oral cancer has such a high death rate is because it is rarely ever caught at an early enough stage, not because it’s hard to diagnose or more deadly than other cancers. Most of the time people just don’t know they have it until it has progressed to later, more dangerous stages.
Some reasons why oral cancer is hard for victims to recognize are…
- Oral cancer can prosper without causing noticeable pain or recognizable symptoms.
- People don’t visit their dentist regularly enough.
- Even when they do visit, their dentist sometimes just doesn’t check for it.
Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Saleh if you might be at risk! You’ve got nothing to lose by asking.
Another alarming fact is that oral cancer survival rates have not increased over the past few decades while the survival rates for other cancers have. The death rate from oral cancer is much higher than the cancers which we hear about regularly such as cervical cancer, testes cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma).
How ViziLite Helps
An annual ViziLite Plus exam to our patients at increased risk, along with regular visual examinations from Dr. Saleh, helps us discover oral cancer before it becomes deadly. The ViziLite Plus exam is fast and painless, and could help save your life.
ViziLite Plus is usually performed immediately following a regular visual examination:
- First, you are instructed to rinse out your mouth with a cleansing solution.
- Next, the overhead lighting is dimmed.
- Then, Dr. Saleh will examine your mouth using ViziLite Plus, a specially designed light technology.
Patients are recommended to have a complete soft tissue examination at least once a year by the American Cancer Society. In many instances, the addition of a ViziLite screening helps bring added peace of mind.
Watch this short video about ViziLite to learn more:
It is our goal to help you stay as healthy as possible, so make sure you are taking the initiative too! Next time you visit our office, set up an appointment with Dr. Saleh to talk about ViziLite and oral cancer screening.
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