Oral Cancer Facts

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At White Pearl Dentistry, we are committed to your total oral health. This means, among other things, that you will receive a comprehensive oral examination when you come in for your first visit. We will check for gum disease, evaluate the condition of your teeth, including restorations, and perform a screening for oral cancer. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, here is some information about the disease.

Oral cancer is far and away the most common in the head and neck family, being discovered in nearly 50,000 Americans every year. It has just under a 60% 5-year survival rate, making it a dangerous as well as common cancer. The reason for this high mortality rate is not due to difficulty in diagnosis or treatment, necessarily, but rather to late discovery. Too often, it is only found once it has metastasized to another location, at which point prognosis is much worse.

You can see why early detection is so important. In fact, if caught early, oral cancer is highly treatable. This is why we include oral cancer screenings in our oral examinations. Traditionally, oral cancer screenings were naked-eye visual inspections. While these exams are effective, oral cancer can develop for a long time without manifesting signs. To provide a more comprehensive examination, we employ a VELscope® screening device that uses fluorescent light to detect abnormalities the naked eye might miss.

Getting screened for oral cancer can literally save your life. To learn more about oral cancer, including its symptoms and risk factors, visit the Oral Cancer Foundation’s website, www.oralcancer.org. To schedule your comprehensive oral exam with Dr. Nadia Hamouda, please call our Ann Arbor, MI, office at 734-222-0055 today.