Oral cancer is quickly becoming one of the deadliest forms of cancer. It’s alarming that despite being one of the easiest cancers to detect, over 60% of cases are diagnosed at a late stage. Sadly, one in four people diagnosed with oral cancer will die. Shockingly, in North America, one person dies every hour due to oral cancer. However, there is hope. If oral cancer is detected early, there is an 80-90% survival rate. This is why early detection is crucial.
Previously, heavy smokers and drinkers were considered to be at the highest risk of oral cancer. Men were also twice as likely to be affected. However, this demographic is changing rapidly. Young women are now the leading victims of oral cancer due to the HPV virus that also causes cervical cancer.
Fortunately, oral cancer is easy to detect if you visit your dentist regularly. At every recall visit, your dentist or hygienist should perform a cancer screening of your mouth and neck. Additionally, technology has aided in the goal of early detection. At Southcentre Dental Clinic in Calgary, Dr. Silver and his team offer a simple test using the Velscope light detection system that enables them to see changes in oral tissue before they become visible. If you wish to have this $10 test performed, please call our office to arrange the screening.
To learn more about oral cancer detection and treatment, Dr. Oz provides a wonderful presentation with the following five links: