April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and your Rockville area dentist, Dr. Victor Siegel, has joined forces with The Oral Cancer Foundation to offer complimentary oral cancer screenings on April 2nd, 3rd and 4th. In addition to the standard visual and tactile screening, Dr. Siegel also offers VELscope, an additional screening tool which uses a blue spectrum light to highlight any suspicious tissue not able to be seen by the naked eye.
Every hour of the day someone dies of oral cancer in the United States, and unfortunately this statistic has remained largely unchanged for almost fifty years.If caught early, the survival rate for this disease is 80-90%, however that rate drops to 20-30% at later stages of the disease. How can we improve the survival rate? Awareness and early detection. Educating the public to the benefit of oral cancer screenings and early diagnosis are key.
Many people believe that they are not at risk for oral cancer, so they do not understand the importance of being screened at their dental hygiene check up. The most at-risk patient used to be a male smoker over age 50, however risk factors are changing and the fastest growing group of oral cancer victims are nonsmoking 25-50 year olds. This younger population is getting oral cancer from the HPV16 virus, also responsible for many cervical cancers. Although some sort of tobacco use is still the greatest risk factor for oral cancer, it is believed that HPV may become the primary cause within the next decade. Other risk factors for this disease include heavy alcohol use and prolonged sun exposure.
An oral cancer screening is a five minute examination that could save your life. This screening, including the VELscope examination, is routinely offered at dental hygiene check ups in Dr. Siegel's Rockville office for our current patients, however this special event for April's Oral Cancer Awareness Month will be open to the public. Appointments will be available April 2nd, 3rd and 4th from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Please contact us by phone at 301.963.4330 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your complimentary oral cancer screening.