Oral Cancer Exams in Pittsburgh, PA
By Our Dentist, Dr. Dan Rairigh
Nearly every hour, one person dies from oral cancer. Late discovery is the reason why the oral cancer death rate is so high. Stay in control of your health and get a VELscope oral cancer exam. Contact our office to get scheduled.
Why Do I Need a Oral Cancer Exam?
The Oral Cancer Foundation states that the “death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, endocrine system cancers, and melanoma.”
The VELscope oral cancer screening procedure is painless and only takes a few minutes. Using a special light, it is proven to detect oral lesions before they are visible to the naked eye. Oral cancer can disfigure the face and neck. Early detection can save your life, as it is essential to the successful prevention and treatment of oral cancer.
What are the Risk Factors of Oral Cancer?
As a general rule, the following factors increase your risk:
- Above 55 years of age
- Tobacco use
- Being male
- Being African American
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- The sexually transmitted infection HPV
- Prolonged exposure to sunlight
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
It is important to remember that around 25% of oral cancers occur in patients who exhibit none of these risk factors.
What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Here are some common symptoms of oral cancer. An oral cancer exam with VELscope will detect cancerous and precancerous lesions before they are visible to the human eye.
- Sores that don’t heal within 14 days
- Persistent hoarseness of voice
- Feeling like something is stuck in throat
- Red and/or white patches in the mouth
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Ear pain on one side only
- Soreness under a denture that doesn’t heal
- Lump or thickening in mouth or on neck
Pittsburgh Dentist Dr. Dan Rairigh offers VELscope cancer screenings to most of his low risk patients once a year during a cleaning appointment. High risk patients have the option of doing the exam more than once a year if they choose to do so.