Vizilite…A new way to help detect oral cancer

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

The American Cancer Society recently announced that despite the first overall reduction in cancer deaths ever recorded, oral cancer incidence and related deaths are increasing. For 2006, it is estimated that there will be a 5.5% increase in new cases and a 1.5% increase in deaths. An alarming fact is that 27% of oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and have no other lifestyle risk factors.

There is a new product available at your dentist’s office that will help detect possible oral cancer lesions before they are visible to the naked eye. There is a painless, easy to perform test that can be performed by your dentist or dental hygienist that will greatly increase the odds of early detection. This product is called Vizilite.The way it works is like this. The patient rinses with the Vizilite solution for 1 minute and then spits the solution out. A special light wand is activated and after the dental operatory is darkened the wand is placed in the person’s mouth. Using the light emitted from the wand the entire mouth is examined. If there is a questionable lesion that may or may not be hidden from the naked eye, the tissue will appear white when viewed under the special light. Normal tissue appears dark, so it is easy to detect when there is an area of tissue in the mouth that needs further examining . This whole test only takes minutes and it is very easy to do. If there is any question about any lesions in the mouth, the dentist will have a biopsy done to determine just what the tissue is. The key thing here is that this test helps detect abnormalities at their earliest so that they can still be addressed at their most easily treated stage.

Next time you have your teeth cleaned, ask your dental office about getting this important test done.

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