Oral Cancer awareness in the American public is low. Approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year and dentists are often the first line of defense against oral cancer, through the process of early discovery during routine hygiene appointments.
While smoking, family history, alcohol and tobacco use is still a major risk factor, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. We cannot stop this virus from spreading; our only hope to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness. This is our opportunity to get involved and give back to our community in the hopes to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives.
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is an exam that is performed by a dentist or a hygienist with the use of their hands, eyes and a blue light. Dr. Popovici uses the VELscope Light to assist her patients during this exam. The VELscope light is able to detect oral cancer up to two stages earlier than our hands and eyes alone. The exam usually only lasts about two minutes, is noninvasive and doesn’t provide any discomfort. Sometimes, during an oral cancer screening, the dentist or the hygienist are able to detect other common issues found in the dental chair such as clenching, grinding, TMJ and sleep apnea.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call our office today