Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.

Your dentist will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and tongue and in some patients may notice a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. Harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless, but testing can tell them apart. If you have a sore with a likely cause, your dentist may treat it and ask you to return for re-examination.

Dentists often will notice a spot or sore that looks harmless and does not have a clear cause. To ensure that a spot or sore is not dangerous, your dentist may choose to perform a simple test, such as a brush test. A brush test collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth. The cells are sent to a laboratory for analysis. If precancerous cells are found, the lesion can be surgically removed if necessary during a separate procedure. It’s important to know that all atypical and positive results from a brush test must be confirmed by incisional biopsy and histology.

You Should Know

Oral Cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth.It can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum tissue, check lining, tongue and the hard or soft palate.

Other signs include:

  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal

  • A color change of the oral tissues

  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area

  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips

  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.

  • A change in the way the teeth fit together

Facts About Oral Cancer

  • Oral cancer strikes an estimated 34,360 Americans each year. An estimated 7,550 people (5,180 men and 2,370 women) will die of these cancers in 2007.

  • More than 25% of the 30,000 Americans who get oral cancer will die of the disease.

  • On average, only half of those diagnosed with the disease will survive more than five years.

  • African-Americans are especially vulnerable; the incidence rate is 1/3 higher than White-Americans and the mortality rate is almost twice as high.

Risk Factors

  • Although the use of tobacco and alcohol are risk factors in developing oral cancer, approximately 25% of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors.

  • There has been a nearly five-fold increase in incidence in oral cancer patients under age 40, many with no known risk factors.

  • The incidence of oral cancer in women has increased significantly, largely due to an increase in women smoking. In 1950 the male to female ratio was 6:1; by 2002, it was 2:1.

Goccles

GOCCLES ( Glasses for Oral Cancer – Curing Light Exposed • Screening) by Pierre! Pharma, is the revolutionary medical device, simple and economical of use, that helps to easily identify cancerous lesions of the oral mucosa, a disease that annually causes about 3,000 deaths only in Italy. This disease is too often overlooked even by patients who, over 60% of cases, are observed when the disease is already in advanced stages and the chances of surviving for five years are less than 30%.

Designed and built in Italy, GOCCLES is been developed by a team of Oral and Maxilla-facial Surgery Unit of UCSC – Policlinico Gemell , in Rome. GOCCLES is made up by a special filter mounted on glasses characterized by reduced dimensions, great wearable, easy portability, and it can simplify and facilitate the early detection of precancerous lesions of the oral cavity through an non invasive examination of auto• fluorescence of the tissue in order to detect dysplastic lesions or anaplastic (carcinomas of the oral mucosa). This investigation is possible thanks to the emission of a light at a range of wavelengths about from 400 to 500 nm. The light source is not sophisticated type but is the same curing light already used by all dentists.

This optical method based on the tissue auto-fluorescence have improved our ability to detect the early stage cancerous lesions in the oral cavity. GOCCLES cuts down the costs of prevention, making the examination of the oral mucosa more accessible to the professionals for the benefit of patients and for a reasonable fee with a consequent widespread use. GOCCLES has also obtained the conformity marking “CE”, the brand that certifies compliance with the requirements for the marketing and use in the EU and EFTA countries ( European Free Trade Association, which includes Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein).

The granting the CE mark allows at Pierre! Pharma to be a partner attentive to prevention as well as treatment of diseases of the oral cavity at health professionals, public and private. There is a competitor on the market , which uses the same principle but with a own light source very specific and an optical filter coarse , that has significantly higher costs and limited portability.

GOCCLES is primarily intended to dentists, but also to physicians (pathologists, oral, maxillofacial surgeons) that have the curing light at their surgeries.

Prevention and Detection

  • The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid tobacco and alcohol use.

  • Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.

  • Many types of abnormal cells can develop in the oral cavity in the form of red or white spots. Some are harmless and benign, some are cancerous and others are pre-cancerous, meaning they can develop into cancer if not detected early and removed. (American Cancer Society).

  • Finding and removing epithelial dysplasias before they become cancer can be one of the most effective methods for reducing the incidence of cancer.

  • Knowing the risk factors and seeing your dentist for oral cancer screenings can help prevent this deadly disease. Routine use of the Pap smear since 1955, for example, dramatically reduced the incidence and mortality rates for cervical cancer in the United States.

  • Oral cancer is often preceded by the presence of clinically identifiable premalignant changes. These lesions may present as either white or red patches or spots. Identifying white and red spots that show dysplasia and removing them before they become cancer is an effective method for reducing the incidence and mortality of cancer.

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