Centennial Oral Cancer Screening
Centennial Oral cancer screening is an examination performed by a Dr. Johnston to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth.
Dental appointments are not just for evaluating teeth and gums. Oral cancer screenings can save lives.
Oral cancer is the sixth deadliest cancer in the world, claiming one life an hour here in the United States. While most cancer survival rates have increased over the past 40 years, the five-year survival rate of oral cancer has remained below 50%. The primary reason for this is due to the late detection of oral cancer. The majority of oral cancer cases are not diagnosed until later stages when the survival rate is low. When diagnosed in its early stages, the five-year survival rate dramatically increases to 90%.
Research has shown an increased risk of oral cancer among people age 40 and older, smokers, smokeless tobacco users, and drinkers. However, 25% of oral cancer victims do not represent any of these risk factors, including those under age 30.
There is now a new technology called ViziLite that, when used with our conventional head and neck examination, improves our ability to identify, evaluate, and monitor suspicious areas at their earliest stages. It is a non-invasive, painless test and ViziLite is the only FDA-cleared technology device for the identification and monitoring of oral abnormalities that could lead to oral cancer.
Our practice has incorporated oral cancer exams into the standard of care in our practice so that our patients receive the most complete exam possible. It is recommended that all adult patients have an oral cancer exam annually and can be done during your annual check-up. It could be Life Saving!!
The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure.
Dr. Johnston performs an examination of your mouth during a routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer. Additional tests to aid in identifying areas of abnormal cells in your mouth maybe tested.
Oral cancer has been on the rise for the past several decades. Get the advanced oral screening test done, it only takes 2 minutes, but can save your life.
Get informed. Know the early signs of oral cancer. Early stage oral cancer is often asymptomatic – you may not FEEL it.
Velscope Oral Cancer Screening Tool – The World’s #1 Adjunctive Examination Device
Traditional oral mucosal examination tools rely on reflected light to visualize the oral cavity. VELscope® Vx uses tissue fluorescence rather than reflectance. Natural tissue fluorescence is caused by “fluorophores” that, when excited by light of an appropriate wavelength (e.g. blue), will emit their own light at a longer wavelength (e.g. green). The resulting fluorescence may reveal information about cellular, structural, and/or metabolic activity changes that are often directly related to disease processes occurring inside the tissue. The VELscope Vx system is a powerful device for the enhanced visualization of mucosal abnormalities such as oral cancer and premalignant dysplasia. Unlike other adjunctive devices used by dentists, the VELscope Vx system does not require any dyes or prolonged testing procedures. In fact, VELscope Vx examinations can be performed in the dentist’s office during routine hygiene exams (and under normal lighting conditions) in about two minutes.
To prevent oral cancer:
- Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation (and refrain from binge drinking).
- Eat a well balanced diet.
- Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, especially the lower lip. When in the sun, use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin, as well as your lips.
You can take an active role in detecting oral cancer early, should it occur, by doing the following:
Conduct a self exam at least once a month.Using a bright light and a mirror, look and feel your lips and front of your gums. Tilt your head back and look at and feel the roof of your mouth. Pull your checks out to view the inside of your mouth, the lining of your cheeks, and the back gums. Pull out your tongue and look at all surfaces; examine the floor of your mouth. Look at the back of your throat. Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of your neck and under your lower jaw. Call your dentist’s office immediately if you notice any changes in the appearance of your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
See your dentist on a regular schedule. Even though you may be conducting frequent self-exams, sometimes, dangerous spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own. The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40. During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.
Call us right away if: you noticed something abnormal or you are having pain.