One American dies every hour from oral cancer. Incidence and mortality rates continue to rise. And late detection of oral cancer is the main reason. As with most cancers, age is the main risk factor for oral cancer. Tobacco and alcohol use are other major predisposing risk factors. More than 25% of oral cancer victims have no such lifestyle risk factors. Studies also suggest that human papillomavirus (HPV 16/18) plays a role in more than 20% of oral cancer cases.
Oral cancer risk by patient profile is as follows:
Increased risk: patients ages 18-39 ; sexually active patients (HPV 16/18)
High risk: patients age 40 and older; tobacco users (ages 18-39, any type within 10 years)
Highest risk: patients age 40 and older with lifestyle risk factors (tobacco and/or alcohol use); previous history of oral cancer
We incorporate Velscope® into our oral screenings. Velscope®, along with a standard oral cancer exam, improves the ability to identify suspicious areas at their earliest stages.
Velscope® is similar to early detection procedures for other cancers, such as mammography, Pap smear, and PSA. It is a simple and painless exam that gives the best chance to find any oral abnormalities at the earliest possible stage.
Early detection of pre-cancerous tissue can minimize or eliminate the potentially disfiguring effects of oral cancer. And possibly save your life. The Velscope exam will be offered to you annually.