Vizilite Helps Spot Oral Cancer Before It Starts
If there is one word that can strike fear into the hearts of people from all walks of life anywhere in the world, it's "cancer." No matter what form it takes, this disease affects millions of people a year. Early detection can be the determining factor between life or death, meaning that regular screenings are important to not only your health, but your peace of mind.
According to recent statistics, 1 American an hour dies from oral cancer. While the death rates of other cancers have decreased over the years, instances of oral cancer have risen by 5.5%, causing the death rate to increase by 1.5%, according to the American Cancer Society. Fortunately, early detection means a much higher rate of curability, and early detection of this potentially deadly disease just became easier to achieve with introduction of ViziLite.
What is ViziLite?
ViziLite is an identification and marking technique using a chemiluminescent light source to identify lesions which could lead to oral cancer. It is used in addition to a normal head and neck exam, and is painless and non-invasive. It helps the dental professional see what cannot be seen with the naked eye, resulting in a much higher chance of catching oral cancer early, since symptoms do not become visible until the advanced stages of the disease.
How does the ViziLite treatment work?
Treatment begins with the patient rinsing their mouth with the ViziLite solution. After the lights are dimmed, the dentist will examine the mouth and tissues with a special light designed for the procedure. Healthy tissue is not affected by the solution, making it appear as it would normally. Irregular tissue appears bright white under the light, allowing the dentist to take a closer look at what could be the early stages of oral cancer.
Who should schedule a screening?
The American Cancer society recommends one complete visual screening for oral cancer a year. These patients include anyone over 40 years old, or anyone 18-39 with lifestyle risk factors. These include the use of tobacco, alcohol consumption of at least one drink a day, HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) or immune deficiencies such as HIV or AIDS. Patients with a history of oral cancer are also considered at-risk.
James F. Lesch, D.D.S offers ViziLite screenings at his office in Lakeville, MN, and is committed to providing friendly and professional care for his patients. Call us today to schedule your annual screening!