One American dies every hour from oral cancer
The typical risk factors for oral cancer such as tobacco use and chronic alcohol consumption may be commonly know, however, a new risk factor called HPV is now changing the face of oral cancer. HPV has long been know to cause cervical cancer in women and recent studies show that it may play a role in more that 25% of oral cancer cases. The human papilloma virus is a common sexually transmitted virus that is thought to be causing oral cancer in an increasingly younger patient population. Few people, if any, even know they have it. That is why your dentist recommends a potentially life saving screening exam called ViziLite Plus.
Annual Oral Cancer Screening Exams are important
When oral cancer is found early, treatment can be successful 82% of the time. Unfortunately, when compared to the survival rate of other cancers, the survival rate of oral cancer has not improved greatly over the last 30 years.
Because early detection is a key to survival, it is important to see your dentist regularly. An annual screening exam called ViziLite Plus with TBlue, used in conjunction with a routine head and neck examination performed by your dentist, can help to find abnormalities that could lead to cancer. That’s the kind of screening that could help save lives.
Are you at risk?
• Patient age 40 and older (95% of all cases)
• 18-39 years of age combined with the following:
• Tobacco use
• Chronic alcohol consumption
• Oral HPV infection Highest risk
• Patients age 65 and older with lifestyle risk factors
• Patients with history of oral cancer
• 25% of oral cancers occur in people who don’t smoke and have no other risk factors
How does ViziLite Plus work?
The ViziLite Plus exam is a painless exam that your dental professional can perform in a just a few minutes. ViziLite Plus uses a light source that helps to improve the examiner’s ability to identify abnormalities that may have been missed under normal lighting. Your dental professional will conduct the exam as follows:
1. First, your dental professional will examine your mouth and look for any abnormalities
2. Next, you will rinse with a solution that will help your dental professional conduct the ViziLite Plus exam
3. Then, your dental professional will examine your mouth using ViziLite
4. If a suspicious lesion is detected, it will be marked with TBlue, a blue dye, and documented.
What will my dentist see?
Most of the time, your dental professional will conduct a thorough oral cancer screening examination that includes ViziLite Plus and will see that everything looks completely normal. That is good news! However, there may be times when your dental professional identifies something that looks abnormal. At that point, your dental professional will use their expertise and may ask you to come back in a few weeks to follow or may refer you to an oral surgeon for a biopsy.
Originally printed by Zila Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2009