Oral Cancer Testing

Oral cancer kills one American every hour.1 It is the uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage to surrounding tissues of the lips, tongue, cheeks, hard and soft palate, sinuses, throat and/or the floor of the mouth.

Interesting Statistics to Consider

  • Approximately 42,000 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 20131 and 18,000 of these will not be alive in five years.2
  • Oral cancer’s high mortality rate is due to late-stage discovery (Stage III and IV).1
  • The mortality rate for oral cancer is higher than the rates for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as well as Cervical, Laryngeal, Testicular, Thyroid and Skin cancer.1

What Are The Symptoms?

Oral cancer is often asymptomatic in its early stages. 40 percent of oral cancers are found in patients who do not have traditional lifestyle risks. This means all patients, regardless of age and lifestyle, need an oral exam that looks for abnormal tissue.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Is The Fastest Growing Oral Cancer

  • Three out of four people are infected with HPV
  • Oral HPV increases your risk for oral cancer fifty-fold3
  • Having six or more oral sex partners makes you 8.6 times more likely to get oral cancer4
  • HPV can be transmitted from mother to child

Advancements in florescence technology give us the ability to “bring light” to abnormalities earlier. Identifying more than just cancer, fluorescence technology allows us to discover increased metabolic activity which can result from a palatal burn, cheek bite or squamous cell carcinoma. During assessments we look for dark or abnormal lesions. If your lesion is still present at your second assessment and continues to exhibit a loss of fluorescence, you should see an Oral Surgeon.

Groton Wellness now offers OralIDTM, a state-of-the-art, florescence technology used by trained clinicians to better identify oral cancer, pre-cancer and other abnormal lesions in the mouth. If you are concerned that you may have oral cancer or would like to be screened, contact your dentist for a comprehensive exam. The dentists at Groton Wellness recommend screening for oral cancer once per year, as early detection can save more lives.


1Oral Cancer Foundation
2National Cancer Institute/SEER

3 American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2012
4 Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York (C) 2011

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