Oral cancer is one of the least talked about cancers, yet, on average, it claims the life of one person every hour, with more people dying from it per year than from cervical cancer, laryngeal cancer, testicular cancer, skin cancer, or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Why do so many people die from it? Very often, it’s because a diagnosis isn’t made until the disease has already reached an advanced stage. To effectively treat oral cancer, a diagnosis must be made when it’s first developing.
The most common risk factors associated with oral cancer are tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, constant exposure to sunlight, poorly fitting dentures, and habitual lip or cheek biting. However, a growing number of oral cancer cases are found in patients with none of these risk factors. Many of these, for both women and men, are actually related to HPV. As a result, this makes a regular oral cancer screening important for all patients, not just those who smoke or drink.
Dr. Alani uses two revolutionary tools to find and treat oral cancer as early as possible:
Both of these tools are fluorescence-based systems that use light to reveal abnormal tissue at a stage when there are no discernible symptoms of oral cancer. What’s more, an oral cancer screening with one of these tools is completely painless and takes just seconds to complete. Completing an oral cancer screening with VELscope or Identifi is as easy as passing the tool over your teeth. A tissue with an abnormality will stand out from the rest of your smile by appearing different. If Dr. Alani finds anything during your exam, she can start planning your treatment immediately. When oral cancer is diagnosed early, the cure rate is as high as 80-90%.
Call our Houston dental office to schedule a checkup, consultation, or second opinion visit with Dr. Alani. Located near the Galleria, we serve patients from the greater Houston area with top-notch dentistry.