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The Oral Cancer Foundation

The good news… Our dentists could save your life through early detection. The oral cancer death rate is high due to late discovery! The solution… early detection. At Lasting Impressions Dental Care, Drs. Jeffery and Trent Platt use the Sapphire Plus Lesion Detection system which is new adjunctive technology that, in addition to a thorough visual and physical oral exam, allows our dentists to potentially discover oral lesions early. Without the aid of Sapphire Plus Lesion Detection System or Velscope, cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions could go undetected and possibly spread, causing pain, disfiguration or death. The earlier cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions are detected, the greater the chances of successful prevention, treatment and recovery.

Human papillomavirus (HPV), the sexually transmitted infection commonly associated with 95% of cervical cancer cases, has been linked to oral cancer. HPV has caused an increase of cases in young, non-smoking individuals, a group that, until recently, had a low rate of oral cancer incidence. That’s why dentists are starting to screen individuals as early as 20 years old!

little girl with grandmother

Risk Factors

  • More common in men than women
  • Most common in African Americans
  • Greater risk after age 35
  • Tobacco use
  • Frequent alcohol consumption
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight (lip cancer)
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • The sexually transmitted infection HPV
  • Approximately 25% of oral cancer cases have no known risk factors

The Importance of Early Detection

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has given the following 5 Year Survival Rates from oral cancer.

Localized cancer (before it spreads) 82%
Regional cancer (spread to nearby organs) 53%
Distant cancer (spread to distant organs) 28%

The quicker we identify oral cancer the better the treatment outcome and the better your long-term health. Dr Platt and his hygiene team recommend an oral cancer screening every year and they include the Sapphire Plus Detection System otherwise known as Velscope to help with their exam and early detection.

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