Using detection tools to prevent oral cancer: A product roundup
Dentists are the front line of defense when it comes to detecting oral cancer.
Dentists and hygienists are playing a crucial role in early detection of oral cancer, and for good reason. About 49,670 people will be diagnosed with oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year alone, according to the American Cancer Society, and an estimated 9,700 people will die of these cancers.
While the overall rate of new cases of oral cancer has been stable in men and dropping slightly in women, the American Cancer Society notes that there has been a rise in cases of oropharyngeal cancer in both men and women linked to infection with HPV. Being able to detect and treat these cancers in their early stages is key and can lead to noninvavise treatments and higher survival rates for patients.
Fortunately, oral cancer detection tools continue to evolve and take advantage of the latest technology. From utilizing specific wavelengths of light to implementing fluorescence visualization technology to incorporating imaging technology, these devices are enabling clinicians to detect oral diseases early on and help stop them from spreading. Ensuring the entire dental team has the necessary education and training to understand and use these oral cancer tools is critical and can be a key aspect of providing effective patient care.