Oral Cancer & Oral Disease

Our practice incorporates routine intra- and extra-oral head and neck exams into your hygiene appointments to screen for dysplasia, oral cancer and a host of other oral diseases.

Our doctors and hygienists can now help to prevent a disease that is rising among women and non-smokers. While it is
also increasing in young people, as with most cancers the chance of developing of oral cancer increases with age.

Oral cancer claims twice as many lives as cervical cancer

Oral Cancer Exam

According to the American Cancer Society, over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7,000 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Fortunately, oral cancer can be diagnosed with an annual cancer exam provided by our team. If caught early, oral cancer can be effectively treated.

When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% survival rate. Unfortunately the majority of cases are found as late-stage cancers, accounting for the high death rate of about 45% at five years from diagnosis, and high treatment related morbidity in survivors.

Clearly, finding oral cancer in its early stages is key to survival. Routine VELscope examinations can improve the morbidity and mortality of oral-cancer, because the VELscope Vx system assists in early detection, potentially saving lives through less invasive, more effective treatment.

Our offices recommend using the VELscope system annually. For additional information about the VELscope Vx system click here>>

What to Expect :

The oral cancer examination is completely painless. The Doctors and Hygienists at Farber Center will look for abnormalities and feel your face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps.  Some of the signs that will be investigated are red patches and sores. Red patches on the floor of the mouth, or the front of the tongue, and bleeding sores which fail to heal easier, can be indicative of cancerous changes. Finally, soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathologic signs, and will be examined.

If abnormalities, lesions, lumps, or leukoplakia are apparent, we will implement a treatment plan that is right for you. Treatment options vary according to the precise diagnosis, but may include: excision, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

if we see something abnormal :

Brushtest biopsy

Our practice incorporates the OralCDx® BrushTest®:

The BrushTest is a quick and painless method to test the common small white and red oral spots that most people have in their mouth at one time or another. The BrushTest is used to determine if a common oral spot contains abnormal cells (known as dysplasia) that, if left alone for several years, may develop into oral cancer.

How our doctors can help stop oral cancer, years before it can even start:

Our doctors can now painlessly prevent a disease that kills as many Americans as melanoma and twice as many as cervical cancer, and is rising among women, young people, and non-smokers. Over 25% of oral cancer victims do not use tobacco or abuse alcohol.

It typically takes several years before a dysplastic oral spot can turn into an oral cancer, and during this time, the spot can be removed and oral cancer can potentially be prevented from even starting. Just like the Pap smear is used to detect precancerous cells to help prevent cervical cancer, and colonoscopy is used to detect precancerous polyps to help prevent colon cancer, the BrushTest is used to detect precancerous cells in common oral spots to help prevent oral cancer. The good news is that oral cancer has now joined the short list of cancers that can be stopped years before they can even start.

What is the BrushTest?

The BrushTest consists of 2 components:

  • a specially designed brush that a doctor uses to painlessly obtain a sample of an oral spot. The BrushTest requires no anesthesia, causes no pain and minimal or no bleeding.
  • the analysis of that sample at a specialized laboratory where specially-trained pathologists use highly sophisticated computers to help detect abnormal cells. A complete report is faxed to our office.

When do we use a BrushTest?

The BrushTest is used to test the common, harmless-appearing, small white and red spots that doctors and dental hygienists see several times each week, to determine if they contain precancerous cells. Most people will have a small oral spot like this at one time or another and they can be seen in up to 10% of carefully examined adults.

Is the BrushTest accurate?

The BrushTest is very accurate as confirmed in many published clinical studies It has been used by over 30,000 U.S. doctors, and more than 10,000 precancerous spots have been detected with the BrushTest – long before they could cause any harm – long before they could turn into cancer.

Why a common oral spot can be a blessing in disguise :

Most people will have tiny white or red spots in their mouth at one time or another. Although most of these spots are harmless, only laboratory testing like the BrushTest can determine which of them contain abnormal cells. About 96% of small, harmless-appearing oral spots that are evaluated by the BrushTest will not contain any abnormal cells. If precancerous cells are found in an oral spot, it typically takes several years before they can cause any harm. During this time, the spot can usually be easily and completely removed.

What You Should Know:

  • Most people will have tiny white or red spots in their mouth at one time or another.
  • See your general dentist or our office regularly for a thorough oral exam. Although the vast majority of these spots do not contain unhealthy cells, your dentist may recommend further testing.
  • Even if the lab identifies abnormal cells, they can then typically be removed – years before they can harm you.