All adult patients are at risk for oral cancer

Did you know that 25% of oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and have no risk factors? You may feel that you are safe from oral health trauma because you do not smoke or chew tobacco. However, it is just as important for a non-tobacco-user to be screened for oral cancer as it is for a tobacco user. This is because there are more causes of oral cancer than just cigarette smoke.

Risk Factors

The patient risk profile is simple. Patients are at an increased risk for oral cancer if they are between the ages of 18 and 39 and do not have any lifestyle risk factors. Patients are at a high risk for oral cancer if they are age 40 or older and do not exhibit any lifestyle risk factors. Lastly, patients are at the highest risk for developing oral cancer if they are over 40 and exhibit risk factors.

Lifestyle risk factors can include tobacco use of any type, chronic alcohol use (drinking 2 ounces at least three times a week), HIV or HPV, sunlight exposure to your lips, gender (men are twice as often diagnosed with oral cancer as women), and race (oral cancer is found more frequently in African Americans than in Caucasians).

When detected early, oral cancer is 90% curable and patients can live a healthy life. Yet, a majority of lesions are not identified early without a visual examination. Our Macomb dental office is now offering ViziLite Plus with TBlue, which is the leading early detection oral cancer screening tool, in conjunction with the conventional head and neck examination for oral cancer. Ask us about this tool during your next dental cleaning !

Screening for oral cancer is something that should be done before you exhibit any signs or symptoms of cancer. The screening can help detect abnormal tissue and prevent cancer from spreading to a more serious stage.

Do you believe you’re at risk for oral cancer or do you have a history of oral cancer? Don’t wait for your next dental appointment – contact our Shelby Township dentist office or St. Clair Shores dental office today to schedule your oral cancer screening.