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Join the Fight Against Oral Cancer This April!

Dental professionals have an immediate opportunity to do something that’s good for their community, as well as good for their practice. As you might know, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

The Oral Cancer Foundation has launched a nationwide initiative to have at least 5 ,000 dental practices offer free oral cancer screenings for at least one half day during April. Will your practice be one of them?

Oral Cancer Month – VELscope from ahVanguard Creative Solutions on Vimeo.

Within the next few minutes, you just might decide that the answer is yes. The simple fact is that virtually every one of your patients is now at risk for oral cancer. Every hour of every day someone dies of this disease, which means its mortality rate is higher than both cervical and testicular cancer. It used to be that oral cancer primarily struck older males who smoked, used chewing tobacco or drank excessively.

While they are certainly still at risk in an increasing percentage of oral cancer patients. are developing the disease through exposure to the human papillomavirus, or HPV. As a result, more men and women under the age of 40 are being diagnosed with oral cancer than ever before. Here’s the core of the problem. When oral cancer is diagnosed, two -thirds of the time it’s diagnosed in late stages.

And when someone is diagnosed with late -stage oral cancer, there’s less than a 50 % chance that the patient will be diagnosed with oral cancer. chance that they’ll be alive in five years. The good news? When oral cancer is discovered in early stages, the five -year survival rate leaps to over 80 percent. And there’s more good news. You, as a dental professional, are in an ideal position to make a difference. After all, who knows more about the oral cavity or about your patient’s oral health than you? So the question is… is, do you believe in early detection? If you do, the next question is, what can you do? The answer is simple. Screen. At a minimum, you should conduct the conventional head and neck exam at least once a year. This, of course, involves intraoral and extraoral visual inspection under white light and palpation of neck and face. Most experts feel this should be true. done on all patients age 18 and up, while some feel these exams should start at age 14. In addition to the white light exam, you might also consider screening with an adjunctive detection device. The one shown here is the Velscope VX, which is the world’s leading oral cancer screening technology. Do you need an adjunctive device? Here are some facts that might help you make that decision. The Velscope is cleared by the FDA to help you see lesions that you might miss with the naked eye.

And a recent University of Washington study showed that the Velscope was able to detect all 28 lesions that were missed by a naked eye exam. Velscope exams take no more than two minutes. The exams are non -invasive, there are no for patients. Most Velscope users charge $15 to $35 per exam. They can also be profitable for the practice. You should be able to pay for the price of the Velscope BX within nine or 10 weeks, and after that, generate an annual profit of $10 ,000 or more.

Finally, your patients will appreciate that you’ve gone to the effort to add this impressive technology to better provide for their oral and systemic health. There’s a powerful precedent that proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that screening works.
The pap smear is credited with reducing the cervical cancer mortality rate by 74%. If we can make oral cancer screening as prevalent as pap smears, and if that screening has a similar impact, we can save over 6 ,000 lives every single year. So please, join the cause. If you’re not already, please start comprehensively screening all of your patients regularly.

And if you can, please offer free screenings at least one half day in April. The Oral Cancer Foundation is running a national campaign to create awareness among the public. And if you register to offer free screenings, they’ll provide you with free patient brochures, customized press releases to help you promote your event, screening and referral forms, and coverage for your event. on their website.

For additional support, please go to the Velscope website, www.velscope.com. And here’s where you can register your event on the Oral Cancer Foundation website.
Thanks for your time and consideration.

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