Oral Cancer Screenings in Oklahoma City
When detected early, oral cancer is highly treatable. Pragma Dental OKC offers and recommends oral cancer screenings for our patients, especially those at a higher risk for the disease. Dr. Grace also has invested in the VELscope® technology, a new advanced way to examine for oral disease. This technology allows Dr. Grace to help catch oral cancer way before a typical intra and extraoral exam would, saving patients lives and increasing their life expectancy. If you have been considering or looking for Oklahoma City Oral Cancer Screening dental locations, please contact Pragma Dental OKC right away.
What is Oral Cancer?
Hundreds of thousands of people around the country are affected by oral cancer and more than 1 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with oral cancer during their lifetime. The cancer is most prevalent in people age 55 and older, and more common in men than in women.
Oral cancer often begins in squamous cells, which are the cells that line the inside of the mouth and lips, although malignant cells can also be discovered on the tongue or gums. Early signs of oral cancer include abnormal sores or discolored tissue in your mouth. If untreated, cancer can spread from the mouth to the head, neck, lymph nodes, or even throughout the entire body.
Approximately 49,750 Americans are diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer each year. Oral cancer takes the life of approximately 9,750 Americans each year.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Those most susceptible to oral cancer are:
► Smokers and tobacco users
► Heavy drinkers
► Those with a family history of oral cancer
► Those with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16)
► People exposed to direct sunlight over lengthy periods of time
► Those who don't use sunscreen from the sun's ultraviolet radiation
What is an oral cancer screening?
A typical oral cancer screening is a thorough intra and extraoral exam. Dentists will use a powerful light to search the area inside your mouth and look for anything unusual, including abnormal patches of white or red, or certain lesions.
Pragma Dental OKC takes it further...
The issue with this is the light often used (an incandescent light) doesn't detect cancers until they are in their later stages. At this point, life expectancy dramatically drops. To combat this, Dr. Grace uses VELscope® for her oral cancer screenings. This technology allows her to help visualize oral tissue abnormalities, including cancer and pre-cancer. With this device, she is able to give a more thorough exam and quickly investigate any suspicious tissue. Often tissue that would have gone undetected until it's possibly too late. She will do a head and neck check for any unusual swelling, discoloration or ulcerations. She will then check your lips for any abnormalities. If any of these abnormalities are seen, Dr. Grace may run additional tests to discover if they are signs of cancer and if so what other areas of the mouth may be impacted.
Why is an oral cancer screening important?
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation:
"Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development."
Since oral cancer is highly treatable, especially in its earliest stages, a simple and painless oral cancer screening could literally save your life! With Pragma Dental OKC's use of the VELscope®, we may be able to catch cancer before it's too late. The time to get an oral cancer screening is today!