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Early Detection Saves Lives: Understanding Oral Cancer and ViziLite® Plus Screening

According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer affects more than 58,450 people in the United States each year. Don’t let yourself be one of them.

Possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal within two weeks; a lump or thickening in the cheek; a white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth; a sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat; difficulty chewing or swallowing; difficulty moving the jaw or tongue; or numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth. Denture patients may experience swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.

ViziLite® Plus is a simple screening system that was developed to help oral healthcare professionals identify and evaluate abnormalities in your mouth. These may include suspicious oral lesions, precancerous cells and cancer, that may be difficult to see during a regular visual exam. When oral cancer is found early, treatment is less invasive and outcomes are far better. Early detection of oral cancer can help save your life.

How it Works?

It’s important to differentiate between cold sores and canker sores, despite the two terms often being used interchangeably. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, appear externally around the mouth and are brought on by the herpes virus. In addition to being painful, they are also highly contagious.


Are You at Risk for Oral Cancer?

There are several risk factors for oral cancer, some preventable, some not. Keep in mind that 25% of oral cancer patients have no risk factors at all.

  • Any tobacco use, such as cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco
  • Excessive or heavy drinking
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV)

The single most important way to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer is to reduce the risk factors. Stop using tobacco and evaluate your alcohol consumption. If you use tobacco, drink heavily, or are over the age of 40, ask your dentist to evaluate your oral health with a visual exam and the ViziLite® Plus oral cancer screening system.


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