Oral cancer screening in West Hills, CA can save your life
When you think of dentistry, your first thought is probably teeth. However, a dentist is a doctor of the mouth. Our area of expertise includes not only teeth, but also the structure around the mouth and soft tissue such as gums. In fact, one of the most vital – literally lifesaving – services that we provide here at Royal Dental Practice in West Hills, CA has nothing to do with teeth. We are referring to oral cancer screening. Our office is equipped with state-of-the-art Velscope technology. It allows us to detect cancer before it is visible to the naked eye.
Why oral cancer screening is important
Two facts are true of virtually any type of cancer. First, it has the potential to be deadly. Second, early detection and treatment dramatically increases your chances of survival. Oral cancer is no exception. It claims nearly ten thousand American lives every year.
The five-year survival rate, as reported by the National Cancer Institute, is:
- Early detection – 83 percent if the cancer is diagnosed and treated before it spreads
- Late detection – 38 percent if the cancer has already reached other parts of the body
How is standard oral cancer screening done?
A standard oral cancer screening begins with a visual exam, looking for lumps, red patches, white patches, or sores inside the mouth and on the lower face. Unfortunately, this method cannot detect tumors until they are large enough to see.
What is the Velscope screening process?
At Royal Dental Practice, we follow the visual exam with a Velscope screening. The procedure is fast, comfortable, and painless. You will simply need to swish a special solution in your mouth and put on protective eyewear that we provide. Then, your dentist will examine your mouth with the Velscope device, which projects a blue light that illuminates tissue abnormalities.
How often should you have oral cancer screening?
Most people should be checked for oral cancer at minimum once a year. However, more frequent screenings may be recommended for high-risk individuals. Because the process is safe and comfortable, there is no such thing as too frequent of screenings. If you have concerns about oral cancer, please call us at (818) 334-6655 and schedule an appointment.