Detecting Oral Cancer at Comfort Dental Spa

Commonly called the ‘forgotten cancer’, oral cancer is responsible for the deaths of over 8,000 people every year. That is nearly one person every hour, twenty four hours a day. The death rate for oral cancer is far higher than many other more commonly publicized cancers, killing an average of 43% of those diagnosed within five years of their initial diagnosis.  Increasingly, dental practices such as Comfort Dental Spa are being called upon to detect and properly diagnose oral cancer.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is not very difficult to discover or diagnose. Its high death rate is instead due to the frequency of late stage discovery. If left untreated, oral cancer can, and often does, metastasize to other locations, most commonly the lymph nodes of the neck. The cancer has historically targeted a consistent demographic of people over 40, and young people who use smokeless varieties of tobacco. While smokeless tobacco may reduce risks for lung cancer, it increases risks for oral cancer. Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women, though this has changed over time, likely due to the number of women using tobacco and not to any biological factors. While age, gender, and race can give some indication of the most frequent victims of oral cancer, lifestyle choices remain the most consistent causative agents.

Annual oral cancer screenings with your local Farmington Hills dentist are the best way to protect yourself from oral cancer, in addition to abstaining from tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. Even if you have never consumed tobacco or alcohol, you may still be at risk for oral cancer; 25% of those diagnosed have never used either.

Oral Cancer Screenings in Farmington Hills

Comfort Dental Spa utilizes an exciting, new FDA-approved technology to screen for oral cancer. The VELscope®  uses fluorescent visualization to detect unhealthy soft tissue, which will appear darker than surrounding healthy tissue under the fluorescent light. The VELscope® is a painless and non-invasive procedure that takes as little as 2-3 minutes. It can be combined with digital photography, and exposes precancerous and cancerous tissues in the mouth. If unhealthy tissue is detected in your oral cancer screening with Dr. Askari, she may take a biopsy, the results of which will then be used to determine the best course of action following your screening.