Did you know that oral cancer steals the life of one American every hour? We don't hear much about oral cancer, but 34,000 patients were diagnosed in 2007. Only half of patients diagnosed with oral cancer will survive longer than five years. Because it is often detected in the later stages, oral cancer's mortality rate is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, brain, liver, kidney, or ovarian cancer. Treatment for oral cancer often causes disfiguration and lessens the patient’s quality of life.
Thanks to an amazing new technology, Identafi 3000, dentists and hygienists can quickly and painlessly screen for oral cancer. Identafi 3000 uses multi-spectral fluorescence and reflectance technology to detect tissue abnormalities and is used in combination with traditional visual exams.
All adults should have an annual oral cancer exam because a quarter of oral cancer victims are non-smokers, don't drink, and have no lifestyle factors to heighten their oral cancer risk. Men over 40 and women between the ages of 20 and 40 are the most prone to the disease. Patients with lifestyle risks, including any tobacco use, daily alcohol consumption, viral infections, autoimmune deficiencies like HIV, and diabetes may need more frequent evaluations.
The screening involves the use of white, violet, and amber wavelengths to illuminate abnormal cells so that they appear distinctly different from the surrounding normal tissue.
While the statistics on oral cancer are discouraging, when the disease is found and treated in the early stages it has an 80 to 90-percent cure rate. Ask your dentist about whether you could benefit from an Identafi 3000 oral cancer screening.
Visit Hudson Valley Dental Arts and learn what makes our practice unique. Dr. Hamburg provides high-quality family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry to patients from the Poughkeepsie, Hopewell Junction, Wappingers Falls, Pleasant Valley, and Beekman areas. We’re enhancing lives one smile at a time!