How Common Is Oral Cancer?
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed this year. Oral cancer will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.
The main reason for these grim statistics is not because oral cancer is hard to diagnose, but because it is diagnosed too late – when it is in its advanced stages.
What Are The Symptoms Of Oral Cancer?
The signs and symptoms of oral cancer are often missed by the naked eye, especially in its early stages. The Identafi® Cancer Screening System uses a revolutionary light-wave technology that can help clinicians detect abnormalities that may lead to cancer, so that something can be done about it as soon as possible. Early detection means early treatment, and a cure rate of nearly 90%.
How To Detect Oral Cancer
At McDowell Dental Group we’ve recently invested in a new, advanced screening device that will enable us to perform a detailed oral exam on our adult patients with far more accuracy than we ever could in the past.
Identafi® uses multi-spectral technology to identify biochemical and morphological changes in the cells of your mouth, throat, tongue and tonsils. These changes are subtle, as they happen at the cellular level, and therefore often go undetected by the naked eye. These changes are made visible through the use of Identafi®’s unique three-wavelength technology, which illuminates possible areas of change that may signal the occurrence or early beginnings of oral cancer.
How Does Identifi® Work?
Using the Identafi® in the “White Light” mode, our doctors/hygienists 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. The tongue, hard and soft palate, and the pharynx are then examined.
Next, the instrument is switched to the patented 405- nanometer “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. Areas with increased diffuse vasculature are more likely to be cancerous.