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Is Early Oral Cancer Detection Possible? Post




Over 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oropharyngeal or oral cancer this year alone. It will cause almost 10,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day for the entire year. Of those 50,000 or so newly diagnosed oral cancer cases, about 57% will be alive in 5 years. The death rate of oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we routinely hear about such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, testicular cancer, and many others. Worldwide the problem is far greater, with over 450,000 new cases being found each year.

The death rate for oral cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to this type of cancer being routinely discovered in its later stages. In many cases oral cancer is only discovered when the cancer has metastasized to another location, most likely the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in a localized intra oral area. Besides the metastasis the primary tumor has had time to invade deep into local structures.

Oral cancer can develop silently because it generally does not produce pain or symptoms initially. For patients who survive the first bout with oral cancer, they have a 20x higher risk of developing a 2nd oral cancer. This increased risk usually tuns 5-10 years after initial treatment. 90% of all oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. In the past, the majority of oral cancer was found in older males who drank and smoked heavily. Now, due to HPV (human papilloma virus), cancer affect anyone , male or female, even  healthy, non-smoking, non- drinking young adults.

The treatment of oral cancer very often produces major changes in speech, chewing, swallowing and oral health, which in addition to the disease, affects the social life and self confidence of the person afflicted with oral cancer.

Can Oral Cancer Be Detected Early?

While difficult it can be possible. Detection relies upon a good dentist who has tools that can help the diagnosis. One such tool is called the Velscope enhanced oral assessement tool. The Velscope oral cancer Marielaina Perrone DDSVELscope light technology uses fluorescence of the tissues to allows detection of changes of the oral tissues in a non-evasive manner. This gives your dentist an extra view into your tissues beyond a thorough head and neck examination. These examination should be performed routinely at your dental visits.

The VELscope technology does not have the ability to diagnose oral cancer by itself, but is used for additional information along with a thorough head and neck examination by your dentist. The VELscope will not determine whether or not the change in oral tissues is cancerous. It simply cannot replace a surgical biopsy. It simply aids in finding abnormalities not visible to the naked eye that may require further examination.

I personally never charge anything extra for use of the VELscope system. It is too important a tool to not use it on every patient that undergoes treatment in my office. When it comes to possibly saving lives I feel we should provide the highest level of care along with the latest technology to do the job. VELscope is that tool. Marielaina Perrone DDS

Is the Velscope the perfect tool?, no…..but it is better to refer someone to the oral surgeon for a oral biopsy then to have completely missed the early warning signs. The VELscope is a tool that gives us added information above a normal examination and should be the standard of care in every dental office. The other important preventive is to be vaccinated against HPV at a young age so that you don’t get infected.

Different Types Of Oral Cancer

-Squamous cell carcinoma: Over 90% of oral cancers are of the squamous cell carcinoma variety. Normally, the throat and mouth are lined with squamous cells, which are flat and arranged in a scale-like way. Squamous cell carcinoma means that some squamous cells have become abnormal and changed from their normal state.

-Verrucous carcinoma: Around 5% of all oral cavity tumors are verrucous carcinoma. This is a type of very slow growing cancer made up of squamous cells. This type of oral cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but can invade the tissue surrounding the site where it began.

-Minor salivary gland carcinomas: This category includes several types of oral cancers that can develop in the minor salivary glands. These glands are found throughout the lining of the mouth and throat. This type of carcinoma includes adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma.

-Lymphomas: These are oral cancers that develop in lymph tissue (part of the immune system) are known as lymphomas. The tonsils and base of the tongue both contain lymphoid tissue.

-Benign oral cavity and oropharyngeal tumors: Several types of non-cancerous tumors and tumor-like conditions can arise in the oral cavity and throat. Sometimes, these nonOral Cancer Screening Las Vegas Marielaina Perrone DDS cancerous conditions may develop into oral cancer. For this reason, benign tumors, which usually do not recur, are often removed surgically.

-Leukoplakia and erythroplakia: With leukoplakia, a white area can be seen, and with erythroplakia, there is a red area, flat or slightly raised, that often bleeds when scraped. Both conditions may be precancerous; that is, they can develop into different types of cancer. When these conditions occur, a biopsy or other test is done to determine whether the cells are cancerous. About 25% of cases of leukoplakia are either cancerous when first discovered or become precancerous. Erythroplakia is usually more serious, with about 70% of cases cancerous either at the time of diagnosis or later.

Known Links To Oral Cancer

Medicine is not entirely sure exactly what causes oral cancer, but they have found links that put some people more at risk.

-HPV (human papilloma virus): Contact with HPV 16 (a sexually transmitted disease) has been found to be linked to certain oral cancers.

-Age: Oral cancer risk increases with age; It is predominantly seen in people 40 and over.

-Tobacco: The majority of cancer cases are associated with some form of tobacco use, specifically cigarette smoking.

-Alcohol: Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of oral cancer and those risks are even greater with combined use of alcohol and cigarettes.

-Diet: A diet that lacks proper nutrition such as vegetables and fruits can increase the risk of oral cancer (as well as other types of cancer).

-Exposure To Sun: Cancers of the lip can been caused by exposure to the sun.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

-A persistent sore throat that does not get better over time.

-Loose teeth.

-Increased difficulty swallowing.

-Increased difficulty chewing.

-Lump in lining of mouth.

-White or reddish patch inside mouth or on the lips.

-Pain in the Jaws.

-Tongue pain or numbness.

-A feeling that something is caught in your throat (even though nothing is there).

Oral Cancer Treatment

If during your routine dental examination, your dentist finds anything out of the ordinary or suspicious they will recommend that you have a biopsy performed of that area. The biopsy of the lesion will be used to confirm the diagnosis of cancer. If it is confirmed that you do indeed have oral cancer you will probably be referred to an oral surgeon for removal of the tumors. Radiation or chemotherapy may be also used in the course of your oral cancer treatment.

Oral Cancer Conclusion

As dentists we play an important role in patients’ oral and overall health. Detecting possible hidden lesions before they have the chance to progress will most definitely save lives. It is a proven fact that the detection of oral cancer in its early stages makes up an important facet of oral cancer prevention and is the key to survival.

The Importance Of Oral Cancer Screenings Post




Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth and throat (larynx). Cancer is defined as the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. This abnormal collection of mutated cells can form a tumor. Oral cancer originates in the mouth and throat, but has the ability to spread to other parts of the body.

The Mayo Clinic states, “mouth cancers most commonly begin in the flat, thin cells (squamous cells) that line your lips and the inside of your mouth. Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.”

Types Of Oral Cancer

-Squamous cell carcinoma: More than 90% of cancers that occur in the oral cavity and oropharynx are of the squamous cell carcinoma type. Normally, the throat and mouth are lined with squamous cells, which are flat and arranged in a scale-like way. Squamous cell carcinoma means that some squamous cells are abnormal.

-Verrucous carcinoma: About 5% of all oral cavity tumors are verrucous carcinoma, which is a type of very slow-growing cancer made up of squamous cells. This type of oral cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but can invade the tissue surrounding the site of origin.

-Minor salivary gland carcinomas: This category includes several kinds of oral cancer that can develop on the minor salivary glands, which are found throughout the lining of the mouth and throat. These types include adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma.

-Lymphomas: Oral cancers that develop in lymph tissue, which is part of the immune system, are known as lymphomas. The tonsils and base of the tongue both contain lymphoid tissue. See our pages on Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma for cancer information related to lymphomas in the oral cavity.

-Benign oral cavity and oropharyngeal tumors: Several types of non-cancerous tumors and tumor-like conditions can arise in the oral cavity and throat. Sometimes, these non cancerous conditions may develop into oral cancer. For this reason, benign tumors, which usually do not recur, are often removed surgically.

-Leukoplakia and erythroplakia: With leukoplakia, a white area can be seen, and with erythroplakia, there is a red area, flat or slightly raised, that often bleeds when scraped. Both conditions may be precancerous; that is, they can develop into different types of cancer. When these conditions occur, a biopsy or other test is done to determine whether the cells are cancerous. About 25% of cases of leukoplakia are either cancerous when first discovered or become precancerous. Erythroplakia is usually more serious, with about 70% of cases cancerous either at the time of diagnosis or later.

What Causes Oral Cancer

Doctors and researchers are not entirely sure exactly what causes oral cancer, but they have found links that put some people more at risk.

-HPV (human papilloma virus): Contact with HPV 16 (a sexually transmitted disease) has been linked to certain oral cancers.

-Age: Oral cancer risk increases with age; and is predominantly seen in people over the age of 40.

-Tobacco: The majority of cancer cases are associated with tobacco use, specifically cigarette smoking.

-Alcohol: Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of oral cancer and those risks are even greater when use of alcohol and smoking cigarettes are combined.

-Diet: A diet that lacks proper nutrition such as vegetables and fruits can increase the risk of oral cancer (as well as all types of cancer).

-Exposure To Sun: Lip cancer can been caused by exposure to the sun.

Classic Oral Cancer Symptoms

-Persistent sore throat that does not go away.

-Loose teeth.

-Difficulty swallowing.

-Difficulty chewing.

-Lump in lining of mouth.

-White or reddish patch inside mouth or on the lips.

-Jaw pain.

-Tongue pain or numbness.

-A feeling that something is caught in your throat (even when nothing is there).

Oral Cancer Screening By Your Dentist

Your dentist should routinely screen for oral cancer during dental examinations at least twice a year. A thorough manual and visual examination should be performed. Your dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks and oral cavity, and thoroughly examines the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any changes such as sores or discolored tissues. The use of the Velscope oral cancer screening system has been proven to diagnose precancerous as well as cancerous changes in the tissue as early as possible to give you the best chance for recovery and long term survival from oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Treatment

If during your dental examination, your dentist finds anything out of the ordinary or suspicious they will recommend that you have a biopsy performed of that area. The biopsy of the lesion will be used to confirm the diagnosis of cancer. If it is confirmed that you do indeed have oral cancer you will probably be referred to an oral surgeon for removal of the tumors. Radiation or chemotherapy may be also used in the course of your oral cancer treatment.

Oral Cancer Conclusion

If you have any concerns about your oral health or have any of the warning signs listed above, see your dentist immediately. As in any disease, an early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference in long term survival. Survival rates greatly increase the earlier oral cancer is discovered and treated. So be vigilant and, even if you do not have any warning signs, visit your dentist for routine oral cancer screenings.

Is Oral Cancer In Your Future? Post


For most of the world the mere mention of the word cancer is frightening. Everyone’s lives have been touched in some way by this dreaded disease. However, with today’s medical advancements many different types of cancer of very treatable and very curable. Unfortunately, oral cancer is not one of those types of cancer. In fact, oral cancer kills one person per hour every day of the year in the United States alone. Another issue with oral cancer is it is often not detected until the later stages when it is too late for treatment.

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer includes any cancer that begins and develops in your mouth. This can mean the throat, cheeks, tongue, hard and soft palates, floor of the mouth, or lips. Oral cancer usually begins as a sore in the mouth that does not heal. Unfortunately, many assume it is just a canker sore or a pizza burn and ignore it. This usually leads to a much later detection of the disease. The majority of oral cancer is classified as squamous cell carcinoma, which attacks epithelial cells.

Males are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. They run 2 times (2x) the risk as females do of developing oral cancer. That may be because many of the top causes of oral cancer, such as smoking, are more widely practiced by men than women. As for age, people who are middle-aged and older are most likely to develop the disease.

Oral cancer kills over 8,000 people every year in the United States. Approximately 43,000 are newly diagnosed each year, but many others go into remission only to have the cancer come back a few years later. The oral cancer survival rate is 57 percent, and this has actually improved over the past decade (used to be 50% survival rate) as people become more vigilant about getting screened.

A disturbing trend is that an increasing number of oral cancer cases are being caused by HPV16 (a type of Human Papilloma Virus) that effects the mucus membranes and skin. It tends to affect the back of the mouth, including the oropharynx, the tonsils, and the base of the tongue.Unfortunately, since these types of cancer are in the back of the mouth, the color changes and lesions that often signal the presence of oral cancer can be more easily overlooked by patients. They may not know that their mouth has undergone any chance and not seek professional care.

Oral cancer has a high risk of recurring for the first 10 years after diagnosis. Patients are up to 20 times (20x) as likely to get cancer again as those who have not been diagnosed with oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

There are many risk factors and these can include:

-Smoking (Tobacco use).

-Excessive Drinking Of Alcohol.

-Smog.

-Herpes Infections.

-Age.

Periodontal Disease.

-Poor Nutrition.

Oral Cancer Signs And Symptoms

The most commons signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:

-Oral sores lasting for 2 weeks or more without healing.

-Facia or oral numbness.

-Unexplained facial or oral pain.

-Unexplained lingering sore throat.

-Changes in your voice (increased hoarseness).

-Ear pain.

-Unexplained weight loss.

-Frequent oral bleeding with no apparent cause.

-White or red patches in the mouth.

-Crusty lesions inside or outside the mouth.

Oral Cancer Screening By Your Dentist

Your dentist should screen for oral cancer during routine dental examinations at least twice a year. A manual and visual examination is necessary. He or she feels for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks and oral cavity, and thoroughly examines the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues. The use of the Velscope oral cancer screening system has been proven to diagnose precancerous as well as cancerous changes in the tissue as early as possible to give you the best chance for recovery and survival from oral cancer.

Treatment of Oral Cancer

If during your dental examination your dentist finds anything suspicious they will recommend that you have a biopsy performed of that area. The biopsy of the lesion will be used to confirm the diagnosis of cancer. If it is confirmed that you do indeed have oral cancer you will probably be referred to an oral surgeon for removal of the tumors. Radiation or chemotherapy may be also used in the course of your treatment.

Oral Cancer Conclusion

If you have any concerns about your oral health or have any of the warning signs listed above, see your dentist immediately. As in any disease, an early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference. Survival rates greatly increase the earlier oral cancer is discovered and treated. So be vigilant and, even if you do not have any warning signs, visit your dentist for routine oral cancer screenings.

Beware Of Oral Cancer Post



Cancer is never an easy disease to face. Many types of cancer are very treatable especially when diagnosed early. Oral cancer is one of those that are easily treatable in its very earliest stages. However, the prognosis changes dramatically once it progresses. Oral cancer is any cancer of the mouth and the pharynx. The most common oral cancer affects the squamous cells in your mouth and can spread quite quickly. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement, and even death. Oral cancer accounts for about 40,000 diagnoses per year and 8,000 deaths annually.

Causes Of Oral Cancer

Use Of Tobacco Products.

Heavy Alcohol Use.

Human Paplilloma Virus (HPV).

Excessive Exposure To Sun.

Warning Signs Of Oral Cancer

-Presence Of White Or Red Patch In The Mouth Or On The Lips.

-Persistent Mouth Sore. Any mouth sore that persists longer than 10-14 days.

-Persistent Sore Throat. Difficulty swallowing or persistent hoarseness.

-Difficulty In Chewing, swallowing, moving the jaw or tongue.

-Numbness In The Tongue.

-A Constant, Unexplained Toothache.

An Earache.

Oral Cancer Screening By Your Dentist

Your dentist should screen for oral cancer during routine dental examinations at least twice a year. A manual and visual examination is necessary. He or she feels for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks and oral cavity, and thoroughly examines the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues. The use of the Velscope oral cancer screening system has been proven to diagnose precancerous as well as cancerous changes in the tissue as early as possible to give you the best chance for recovery and survival from oral cancer.

Treatment of Oral Cancer

If during your dental examination your dentist finds anything suspicious they will recommend that you have a biopsy performed of that area. The biopsy of the lesion will be used to confirm the diagnosis of cancer. If it is confirmed that you do indeed have oral cancer you will probably be referred to an oral surgeon for removal of the tumors. Radiation or chemotherapy may be also used in the course of your treatment.

Oral Cancer Conclusion

If you have any concerns about your oral health or have any of the warning signs listed above, see your dentist immediately. As in any disease, an early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference. Survival rates greatly increase the earlier oral cancer is discovered and treated. So be vigilant and, even if you do not have any warning signs, visit your dentist for routine oral cancer screenings.