At Klooster Family Dentistry, our many available services include the Identafi oral cancer screening system. Most people know that a yearly dental exam is important, but you may not be sure how often you need to get screened for oral cancer. If you are thinking about getting a cancer screening, make sure to talk to Dr. Klooster to get the best advice on your particular circumstances. In the meantime, this post may help you decide.
People at Increased Risk
Some people are at a heightened risk of developing oral cancer and should be screened more often. Genetics, prior medical history, and even certain lifestyle choices may increase your probability of developing cancer. Examples of elements that may make you more likely to get oral cancer include:
- Consistent alcohol consumption
- Use of tobacco in any form
- Contraction of human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Extensive exposure to the sun
Since the summer is a time in which many people spend time at the pool or beach soaking up sun rays and drinking, it might be time for you to get checked out for oral cancer.
The Importance of Catching Oral Cancer Early
The stats on oral cancer are staggering. The five-year mortality rates of oral cancer are higher than prostate cancer, though oral cancer is rarely discussed in the media. Roughly one person dies from oral cancer every hour. However, if caught early, this form of cancer can be cured. In fact, the cure rate for early detection is between 80 and 90 percent! Getting an oral cancer screening can make the difference between life and death in some cases, so make sure to speak with Dr. Klooster if you have any concerns about your oral health.
How a Screening Works
Klooster Family Dentistry uses the Identafi oral cancer screening system. Though our doctors always check for cancerous cells in your mouth at every visit, some cancer cells cannot be seen with the naked eye. That’s where Identafi comes in. After donning special glasses, your doctor will shine three difference multi-spectral wavelengths of light into your mouth. This allows them to detect cells that are invisible to the naked eye and make better judgments about your oral health. That way, they can decide whether or not further action, such as a biopsy, needs to be taken. The process is painless and only takes a few minutes.
If you have any concerns about your oral health or just want to get screened as a precaution, ask about Identafi on your next visit. You can schedule appointments by contacting us here or making an appointment online.