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One of the great things about dentistry is being able to enhance patient’s lives so significantly. Allowing people to look better, smile more readily, be free of pain, chew and function normally, live longer and have nice fresh breath for speaking and kissing are just a few of the things we do to improve the lives of everyone we touch. Even the most basic dental procedures are incredibly important – without good dental hygiene and regular cleanings millions more teeth would be lost every year. We hope you enjoy our blog and find the information within useful and sometimes even entertaining.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This Could Save Your Life!

Oral Cancer is not affecting the population the way it used to.  Occurrence was once seen mostly in those over 50 who had been smoking for a decade or more.    Now, the population being more predominantly targeted is those 25 - 50 who present with none of the traditional risk factors.  Why is this?

Today, a common sexually transmitted virus, the same virus responsible for the majority of cervical cancers, has replaced tobacco as the number one cause of oral cancers.  These cancers occur mostly to the back of the mouth; in the oropharynx, tonsils, and at the base of the tongue.  

Please take a few minutes to watch the video below and be sure to pass along this information to your friends and loved ones. 

Frequently asked questions about oral cancer...

What is the incidence of oral cancer in Canada?  
  • 3 people die every day from oral cancer in Canada
  • The 5 year survival rate of oral cancer is lower (63%) than the survival rates of  cervical (75%), breast (88%), melanoma cancers (89%) and prostate cancer(95%)
What are the risk factors for oral cancer?  
  • Most people diagnosed with oral cancer are over 50
  • Excessive alcohol and/or tobacco use
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Infection of the oral cavity with the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV 16/18) may also be a risk factor
  • Chewing betel nut
  • Sun exposure to the lips
  • As many as 25% of people develop oral cancer without any known risk factors
How is oral cancer best detected?

Oral cancer can be successfully treated if caught at an early stage. If not treated early, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body and it then becomes more difficult to treat.  To detect oral cancer in its early stage, have regular oral cancer screening performed by a dental and/or health professional.
  • Visual examination of the intraoral tissues
  • Palpation of introral and extraoral tissues
  • Clinical studies have determined that use of tissue fluorescence to identify and evaluate suspicious areas that may be associated with the developement of oral cancer has been effective when perfomed in conjunction with the conventional head and neck examination.
Dr.Burry and Dr.Karamanis have now added the use of VELscope technology to our diagnostic protocol.  The VELscope is an invaluable tool in detecting oral disease earlier than by visual examinations with ordinary light alone.  This two minute exam could save your life!

Sources: Oral Cancer Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, YouTube

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