Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oral Cancer

April 12-18 2010 was Oral Cancer awareness week

Oral Cancer, will be diagnosed in 34,000 Americans this year. Successful treatment of the condition is dependent upon early detection as half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer live less than 5 years. Oral cancer often starts as a small sore spot anywhere in the mouth but soon shows other signs which are less typical, including:

  • Bleeding from the sore
  • Color change of the oral tissues
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness of the mouth
  • Change in the way teeth fit together

Oral cancer is most often (but not always) found in those who use any form of tobacco and the risk is increases when combined with alcohol use. Upon reaching 40, the risk of oral cancer also increases. Though these contribute to the disease, 25% of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors.

Because this is a serious, yet often ignored disease, it is important to get an
Oral Cancer Screening when you come in as part of your dental examination. If the results from your screening are abnormal, additional tests will need to be done to ensure that you don’t have cancer. Cancer screenings are routinely done for patients with no signs of cancer, because if a person does have oral cancer it is important to catch it early before it begins to spread. The earlier the detection is found, the better the prognosis will be.

Be sure to ask us about an
Oral Cancer Screening on your next visit


Oral Cancer is one of the most treatable cancers when detected early. Unfortunately, almost 70% of the time, the signs of oral cancer are not visible to a dentist until the disease is in its advanced stages.

A new technology exists to help detect
oral cancer much sooner. Vizilite Plus assists the dentist in detecting abnormal tissue in your mouth. A rinse solution is used inside the surfaces of your mouth. And using the Vizilite Plus light technology, the dentist searches for abnormalities. Healthy tissue will absorb the light and be dark, while abnormal tissue will appear white.

A positive test is not a diagnosis of
cancer since benign abnormalities can also be detected. So the next steps after a positive result should be discussed with your dental professional. We recommend
Vizilite screenings for adults on an annual basis.

Have a Great day

Phillip C. Neal DDS

About Me

My photo
Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.