Did you know that April is oral cancer awareness month?
You might not think much about dental cancer. But the good news about cancers in the mouth is that proper oral cancer screening can catch it early, increasing the changes of a good outcome.
Cigno Family Dental is determined to be proactive about early dental cancer detection and so we’re offering free oral cancer screenings to anyone who wants one during the month of April.
All you need to do is call first to make an appointment at (414) 282-6020, then come in and we’ll take care of the rest. By the way, it’s a completely painless and easy process that only takes a few minutes.
But I Feel Fine – Why Should I Get Screened for Oral Cancer?
Prepare to be surprised. In terms of symptoms, the truth is that oral cancer is painless until it’s too late.
There’s a very high mortality rate with this type of cancer, often because dental cancer - cancers of the mouth - are diagnosed late and has already spread to other areas. The demographics of this illness have also changed completely. It used to be that male smokers and drinkers over age 40 had the highest rates of oral cancer.
Now we’re seeing it in much younger people. One of the largest contributors to oral cancer is the HPV virus. With the increased practice of oral sex among young people (who often won’t use protection because they think they’re already practicing safe sex) there’s a corresponding increase in oral cancer because of the HPV virus.
Can’t My Regular Doctor Screen For Oral Cancer?
Yes, absolutely, although the tools at your physician’s disposal are good but less precise than what we have at our dental office. During your physical exam, your doctor can palpate the nodes in your neck for lumps and look in your mouth to conduct a visual inspection.
Our Oral Cancer Screening is Quick and Thorough
At Cigno Family Dental we use a unique tool called a Velscope, an instrument that allows us to view all the tissues in your mouth through a special light. Once we aim the light at your mouth, the healthy tissue will fluoresce a bright apple green color. If there are any cellular changes in the tissue of the mouth – the tongue, the cheek, anywhere – it will appear to be dark.
We’ll take a dental instrument and run it across that dark area. If the area blanches then we know there’s some inflammation, which is nothing to be concerned about. Inflammation could be caused by many things, like a cheek bite, trauma from eating taco chips or a pizza burn.
But if we run our instrument across the dark area and it doesn’t blanche, then we’ll have you come back in a week to check it again. That may be an indication that there are some cellular changes going on. Using the Velscope enables us to find those changes in the tissue before they get into the deeper layers.
The Importance of Early Detection with Oral Cancers and Oral Cancer Screening
We have a client who hadn’t come to see us for many years while he was going through a divorce. When he called us he said, “I’ve just been diagnosed with oral cancer and my physician won’t touch me until I get my teeth and gum tissue taken care of…”
The doctor said we needed to clean up his mouth before he could perform surgery because the infection would compromise the healing process. We’ve worked with him now through his treatment and just found out four weeks ago he had part of his tongue removed in addition to all the radiation he’d undergone.
Do something kind for yourself and your family – be proactive this April, give us a call at(414) 282-6020 and book an appointment for a quick, very important early oral cancer detection screening. We promise, your experience with Cigno Family Dental will be the best visit to the dentist you’ve ever had!