Oral Cancer Screening

As featured on the Dr. Oz Show, April 2010.

Oral Cancer Stops Here

Shining an even brighter light on oral cancer detection. When found early, oral cancer patients have a nearly 90% survival rate.

The Silent Killer

Oral cancer is not a disease on everyone’s “radar”. But it has an alarming growth rate of over 11% in 2007 and still growing.

The Startling Statistics

Why? Simply put, Oral Cancer is more deadly than breast cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer, and kills one person every hour of every day.

Because the signs and symptoms of oral cancer are often missed by the naked eye, the disease is usually detected late in development, when the mortality rate is 50%. When found early, oral cancer patients have a nearly 90% survival rate.

A New Reason For Concern

Once associated only with heavy smokers or drinkers, Oral Cancer is being found in frightening rates in non-smokers and non-drinkers alike.

Exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus) is the fastest growing risk factor for oral cancer. This is the same virus that is responsible for the majority of cervical cancers in women. The virus presents a 5x increase in occurrence of Oral Cancer under the age of 40, and it has been recommended that all patients over the age of 17 be screened annually.

Identafi 3000 Ultra

We here at McKenna Family Dentistry offer our patients the benefits of an annual Identafi 3000 screening at your cleaning appointments. It is a revolutionary technology which employs 3 unique wavelengths of light that can detect oral cancer with more efficacy that the naked eye.

Multi-Spectral technology is used to identify biochemical and morphological changes in the cells of your mouth, throat, tongue and tonsils. These changes often go undetected by the naked eye, but are made visible through the use of Identafi’s special light waves, which illuminate possible areas of the change that may signal the occurrence, or early beginnings, of Oral Cancer.

The test is simple, painless and takes less than 3 minutes.

How It Is Done

Using the Identafi 3000 ultra in the “White Light” mode, your healthcare provider will first examine the entire oral cavity. The upper portion of the mouth and inner contour of the teeth are examined first, followed by the lower portion of the mouth, and the floor of the mouth. The tongue, hard and soft palate, and the pharynx are then examined.

The instrument is switched to “Fluorescent Violet Light” to identify any areas of abnormal tissue growth, which may be benign or cancerous.

Finally, the instrument is switched to “Green-Amber Reflectance Light” to examine the blood vessels around the lesions. Lesions with abnormal growth are more likely to be malignant.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to address them with your provider.

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The McKenna Dental practice, father, son and daughter exhibited extreme professional competence, kindness and compassion for the 30 years I have had the privilege of being their patient.

Gordon Ray, M.D.
PAMF
Radiation Oncology