Oral Cancer Screenings
When you come to Foothills Dental Centre, there are certain steps you can expect Dr. Vu and Dr. Madej to complete as part of your checkup. First, we’ll always look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease, as these are the two most common oral health conditions patients will face. We’ll also look at how your teeth fit together, as problems with alignment are directly related to conditions like bruxism and TMJ disorder. And last, but certainly not least, you can expect an oral cancer screening.
Why Do We Screen All of Our Patients for Oral Cancer?
Historically, oral cancer has been tied only to certain risky behaviors, like tobacco use or excessive alcohol consumption, but that’s no longer the case anymore. A rising number of oral cancer diagnoses have actually been linked to the human papillomavirus, or HPV. What’s more, HPV-related oral cancer has been found in men as well as women. All of which means that anyone could develop oral cancer, not just patients who smoke or drink excessively.
But that’s just one reason that Dr. Vu and Dr. Madej complete oral cancer screenings for all of their patients. Another reason is that many oral cancer diagnoses aren’t made until the disease is already well-developed, and as a result, harder to treat. By screening patients during routine checkups, our doctors increase the likelihood of making an early diagnosis, which in turn increases the likelihood of successfully treating oral cancer.
Screening for Cancer with VELscope
Because oral cancer is difficult to spot with the naked eye, though, Dr. Vu and Dr. Madej use a revolutionary tool called VELscope to help them. VELscope uses a special fluorescent light to make cancerous tissue visible. Without VELscope, it would be much more difficult to diagnose and begin treatment for oral cancer early. To learn more about how VELscope makes it easy to complete oral cancer screenings, watch the video below.