What is Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is one of the most common Head and Neck cancers also, one of the hardest cancers to treat causing a high mortality rate. Its prevalence is higher in males than females and its rate increases over the age of 45.
The main cause is not known but the risk factors for Oral Cancer include:
- Smoking and use of tobacco products
- Alcohol consumption
- Oral sex (Human Papilloma Virus)
- Family history of cancer
- Prolonged sun exposure to the lips
- History of Leukoplakia ( a white thick patch inside the mouth)
About 25% of oral cancers occur in non-smokers or those who only drink alcohol occasionally.
The most common symptoms of Oral cancer:
- Lumps or bumps, swelling or thickening, rough patches or spots inside the mouth
- Development of white, red or speckled patches in the mouth
- Pain or tenderness in the face or mouth
- Loss of feeling and numbness in some areas of face or oral cavity
- Bleeding in the mouth without any specific cause
- Non-healing sores in the mouth or face or throat
- Weight loss
Oral Cancer Survival Rate
Oral cancer is a deadly cancer because it is usually diagnosed very late. The most critical factor in successful treatment of oral cancer is early detection. Regular dentist visits and dental examination with oral cancer screening is the key for early diagnosis of this fatal disease.
There is a new technology which helps for early detection of abnormal and possibly cancerous tissues inside the oral cavity. This device is called Velscope and has been approved by the FDA, Health Canada and WHO, uses natural tissue fluorescence visualization to discover any abnormal tissue in the oral mucosa in an early stage that cannot be seen by naked eye. Then your dentist will be able to follow up these abnormalities and take necessary steps to discover the real cause of persistent abnormalities.
At Emerald Dental Care, we use the Velscope Technology as a main tool to screen the oral Cancer and to evaluate oral mucosa. We offer a complementary Oral cancer screening exam for all new patients.