Our most important job
At Health Centered Dentistry in Anchorage, we are in a unique position to detect and diagnose oral cancer in its early stages before it progresses. Nearly 50,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed this year in the U.S. alone, and only about half of those individuals will survive the next 5 years. Oral cancer is serious and deadly, and it’s important that you know the facts, and get regular screenings to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
We are always on the lookout for any abnormalities in your mouth that could be potential signs of oral cancer. We also have a high tech oral cancer screening device called the VELscope2. The VELscope2 uses fluorescence visualization technology to illuminate tissue abnormalities before they may be visible to the naked eye. This allows us to be proactive in the fight against oral cancer, and detect abnormal cells before the disease progresses, for the best chance at survival and recovery.
What we look for
Some of the warning signs and symptoms of oral cancer that we look for, that you should also be on the lookout for at home, and let your doctor know if you have noticed any of the following (can occur on the lips, mouth, tongue, gums, throat, or any area inside the mouth):
- Swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, crusting, or erosion
- Velvety white, red, or speckled patches
- Unexplained bleeding
- Numbness or loss of feeling
- Pain or tenderness
- Persistent sores
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
- Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, change in voice
- Ear pain
Risk factors for developing oral cancer include:
- Smoking – Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers
- Chewing – Patients who dip, snuff, or chew are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer
- Alcohol – Oral cancer is six times more common in drinkers than non-drinkers
- Family history of cancer
- Excessive sun exposure
Give us a call!
Take control of your destiny, and get screened for oral cancer at your regular appointments. If you have any questions about oral cancer, or would like to schedule a screening with your Anchorage dentist – Dr. Henrie, Dr. Marchant, or Dr. Bragiel at Health Centered Dentistry – give us a call today at (888) 707-0222.