Did you know that every time you visit our office for your routine hygiene therapy appointment you are screened for oral cancer? Screening for the early warning signs of oral cancer is one of the most important reasons why you should visit our office on a regular basis. More than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. In fact, recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society indicate that while the incidence and death rates for cancers overall have decreased, both the incidence and the death rate for oral cancer have increased. Early detection and diagnosis are essential in successful treatment of the disease. Oral cancer is 90% curable when found in its early stages.
As your dental team, we are the front line of defense in early detection of this disease. It is estimated that only about 50-60% of the US population visits the dentist every year. Unfortunately, only about 15% of those who visit a dentist regularly, report having had an oral cancer screening. This is unfortunate and unacceptable in my opinion, when you consider that historically, the greatest strides in combating most cancers have come from increased awareness and aggressive campaigns directed at early detection. It is now commonplace to annually get a PAP smear for cervical cancer, a mammogram to check for breast cancer, or PSA and digital rectal exams for prostate cancer. Oral cancer is no different. Actually, it is easier to follow through with oral cancer screenings, since unlike many other cancer screening procedures, there is no invasive technique necessary to look for it, no discomfort or pain involved, and it is very inexpensive to have your mouth examined for the early signs of disease.
It is our goal to have 100% of our practice family screened for oral cancer on a yearly basis. It is important to realize that a visit to our office is no longer about a filling, a crown, or “just a cleaning,” but is actually a matter of life and death. Dental examinations, when properly done and which include a screening for oral cancer will save lives. How do we do it? At our practice we utilize a 3 pronged approach:
- A comprehensive visual examination of the oral cavity, head, and neck by Dr. Heather and Suzy
- At least a yearly screening with the Vizilite Plus Oral Lesion Identification and Marking System
- Comprehensive Oral Cancer Risk Assessment with the Previser™ Risk Assessment Software
Please help us reach our goal of screening 100% our practice family for oral cancer every year by starting with you and your family. Call our office today to schedule your regular routine hygiene therapy appointment and oral cancer screening today.
About HPS Advanced Dental Care, PC
Dr. Heather Pranzarone Stratton is a Family and Cosmetic Dentist practicing with a Biological and Biocompatible philosophy in Shelby Township, Michigan. Our practice provides a full range of Family and Cosmetic Dentistry services for your entire family including, professional cleanings and oral cancer screenings, tooth restoration, porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges, root canal therapy, tooth whitening, and dentures. We are a mercury free and mercury safe dental practice and latex free practice. HPS Advanced Dental Care, PC easily serves Macomb and Oakland Counties. We are easily accessible from many metro Detroit cities including: Shelby Township, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Macomb Township, Oakland Township, Washington, Birmingham, Troy, Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, and many more.