Oral cancer comprises 6% of all cancers and ranks 6th in risk. At Centercare, the oral exam always includes a visual check for cancer. We also have available salivary diagnostics which can detect the presence of HPV virus, one of the highest risk factors for oral cancer according to latest reports.
Centercare has added a cancer detection tool that is considered state of the art in non-biopsy cancer detection. It uses technology called bio-fluorescence. When light strikes any object, much of it is reflected, and this is most of what we see with our eyes. If that object absorbs the light energy it can re-emit it as a different wavelength. This is called fluorescence and has been developed for use in healthcare to identify abnormal tissue.
When light reflects off early cell changes in oral tissue there is no visible difference from normal tissue. With fluorescence, altered cells can be seen before they would be visible otherwise. It is not yet diagnostic of cancer. That would require a biopsy. It does, however, amount to early detection of change, and that could save a life.
This technology is a routine part of an oral exam at Centercare in Phoenix. Oral Cancer – American Dental Association