Himachal Dental


Early Detection and Prevention Of Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral cancers by UK Dental Tourism on August 29, 2010
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India has one of the highest incidence of Oral cancer in the world. The high incidence of oral cancer and oral pre-cancerous lesions in India has long been linked with the habit of betel quid chewing incorporating tobacco.It is the sixth most common cancer reported globally with an annual incidence of over 300,000 cases, of which 62% arise in developing countries.There is a significant difference in the incidence of oral cancer in different regions of the world. The age-adjusted rates of oral cancer vary from over 20 per 100,000 population in India, to 10 per 100,000 in the U.S., and less than 2 per 100,000 in the Middle East.

In comparison with the U.S. population, where oral cavity cancer represents only about 3% of malignancies, it accounts for over 30% of all cancers in India. The variation in incidence and pattern of oral cancer is due to regional differences in the prevalence of risk factors. But as oral cancer has well-defined risk factors, these may be modified – giving real hope for primary prevention.

Oral cancer will usually first manifest itself as a sore or growth that won’t go away naturally. Oral cancer, which includes cancer of any part of the mouth or throat such as lips, cheek, hard and soft palates and tongue can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.Men are twice as likely as women to get oral cancer with men over the age of 50 being particularly at risk. Factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include smoking, which can increase your chance of oral cancer by as much as 600 percent. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also increase your chances by a similar degree.Other factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include excessive exposure to sunlight and a family history of cancer. People who use smokeless tobacco products such as snuff, dip or chewing tobacco are a massive 50 times more likely to develop cancer of the cheek, lips or tongue. Although it is important to note that a quarter of people who contract oral cancer do not use tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.

Despite the fact that the oral cavity is accessible for visual examination, and that oral cancers and premalignant lesions have well-defined clinical diagnostic features, oral cancers are typically detected in their advanced stages. In fact, in India, 60-80% of patients present with advanced disease as compared to 40% in developed countries. Consistent with patients presenting for medical care with more advanced disease in India compared with developed countries, overall survival is also reduced. Early detection would not only improve the cure rate, but it would also lower the cost and morbidity associated with treatment.

The symptoms or oral cancer include: unexplained bleeding in the mouth; the development of white or red patches in the mouth; difficulty chewing speaking or swallowing; swelling, lumps or eroded areas in the mouth; dramatic weight loss.These are only some of the symptoms so it is always best to consult your dentist if you have any concerns. Your dentist can conduct an oral cancer screening exam as part of your regular dental check-up and can perform a brush biopsy of any suspicious looking sores in the mouth. This test is completely painless and involves taking a small sample of tissue for analysis. Your dentist will also be able to check for any tissue changes in your oral cavity, neck and head. If oral cancer is detected in its early stages patients have a greater than 80 percent chance of successful treatment.

There is still much to be done. Oral cancer remains a major health problem in India, and only dedicated, sustained efforts towards early detection and prevention will reduce the burden of this disease.If you need any information please call us at 177-6450704.

VELscope:Oral Cancer Screening System

The average dentist will see three to five patients a day who exhibit soft tissue abnormalities. Cheek biting, canker sores and lesions from poor fitting dentures are some examples of tissue trauma that we witness daily. Though these lesions are benign they share similarities with dangerous lesions.  It is up to us the dental professional to distinguish between the two. We are very fortunate to be able to offer VELscope to our patients.
VELscope is an oral cancer screening system.  This technology was developed in collaboration with the British Columbia Cancer Agency and MD Anderson Cancer Center, with funding provided by the NIH. It is quite unfortunate that only 35% of oral cancer cases are diagnosed in earlier stages.  Early diagnosis can increases the 5 year survival rate form 52% to 90%.  With the help of VELscope we can detect potentially dangerous growths beneath the surface that we may not have detected with our conventional oral screening exam. An incandescent light used to enhance the visualization of oral tissue abnormalities.  The fluorescence changes in the tissue enable us to differentiate between normal and abnormal findings. The VELscope technology is the only non-invasive adjunctive device clinically proven to help discover occult oral disease.
India has one of the highest incidence of Oral cancer in the world. The high incidence of oral cancer and oral pre-cancerous lesions in India has long been linked with the habit of betel quid chewing incorporating tobacco.
Oral cancer ranks number one among men and number three among women in India. Oral cancer constitutes 12% of all cancers in men and 8% of all cancers among women.  “There are about 7,00,000 new cases of cancers every year in India out of which tobacco related cancers are about 3,00,000. Cost of treatment of oral cancer is about 3.5 lakh. This can be completely prevented by simple changes in lifestyle and regular screening and even have health benefits that reach beyond cancer.” For more information on cancer screening call Goma dental at 177-645-0704.


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