ViziLite Plus as part of a comprehensive oral screening
Oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases when it's caught early. That's
why the ViziLite Plus exam has been developed. ViziLite Plus uses technology
that has proven successful in identifying soft tissue abnormalities in other
areas of the body. A ViziLite Plus exam is particularly important if you are
at increased risk for developing oral cancer.
The ViziLite Plus exam can help your dentist or hygienist identify abnormal
tissue, that might develop into oral cancer.
An annual ViziLite Plus exam, in combination with a regular visual examination,
provides a comprehensive oral screening procedure for patients at increased
risk for oral cancer. The ViziLite Plus exam is painless and fast, and could
help save your life.
ViziLite Plus is performed immediately following yearly visual examinations.
Importance of Early Detection
Early detection is the key to reducing the devastating impact of oral cancer
on victims and their families. Annual oral cancer screening of patients at increased
risk for oral cancer, patients age 18 and older, and tobacco users of any age,
is the only way to achieve the early detection of oral cancer necessary to reduce
the death rate of oral cancer - a death rate that has remained unchanged for
more than 40 years.
Doesn't my dentist already do a cancer screening?
Yes, your dentist does check your neck and oral tissues for lumps, red or white
patches or recurring sore areas. But typically, these techniques catch cancer
at very advanced stages and mortality drops dramatically. Early detection is
key to a successful treatment. With Vizilite Plus, Dr. Dahlkemper can detect early
stages of cancer more easily and should be checked yearly.
An estimated 28,000 new cases of oral cancer and 7,200 deaths from these cancers
occurred in the United States in 2004. The age-adjusted incidence was more than
twice as high among men than among women, as was the mortality rate. More than
40% of persons diagnosed with oral cancer die within five years of diagnosis.
More than 90% of oral cancers can be attributed to tobacco use, alcohol use,
and both tobacco and alcohol use. Sun exposure can also be a risk factor for
oral cancer. Low consumption of fruit and some types of human papilloma virus
infections have also been implicated.
How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?
An examination for oral cancer may be done during a physical examination by
your dentist or physician. An oral cancer exam is painless and quick. Your health
care provider will inspect your face, neck, lips and mouth to look for any signs
of cancer. With both hands, he or she will feel the area under your jaw and
the side of your neck, checking for lumps that may suggest cancer. Next, your
provider will have you stick out your tongue so that it can be checked for swelling
or abnormal color or texture. In addition, he or she will look at the roof and
floor of your mouth, as well as the back of your throat. He or she will then
look at and feel the insides of your lips and cheeks to check for possible signs
of cancer, such as red and/or white patches.
Using gauze, he or she will then gently pull your tongue to one side, then
the other, to check the base of your tongue. The underside of your tongue will
also be checked. Finally, your provider will put one finger on the floor of
your mouth and, with the other hand under your chin, gently press down to check
for lumps or sensitivity.
How Is South Carolina Doing?
Oral cancer is the 9th most common cancer in South Carolina, with 2,897 oral
cancers diagnosed between 1996 and 2001 (or about 480 new cases per year). South
Carolina ranks 2nd in the nation for deaths from oral cancer. The majority (70%)
of oral cancers occurred in males, with black males having the highest incidence.
There are three counties in South Carolina (Charleston, Georgetown, and Richland)
with oral cancer rates higher than the state average.
Quickfacts: Oral Cancer in the U.S.:
Persons aged 45 and older account for 90% of oral cancer cases
More than 90% of oral cancers can be attributed to tobacco or alcohol use
Men are twice as likely as women to contract and die from oral cancer
Related U.S. Healthy People Year 2010 Objectives:
Objective 21-6: Increase the proportion of oral and pharyngeal cancers detected
at the earliest stage from 35% to 50%.
In South Carolina, 37% of oral cancers are detected at the early stage
Only 2% are detected before they become invasive.
Objective 21-7: Increase the proportion of adults over 40 years old who,
in the past 12 months, report having had an examination to detect oral and
In the U.S., about 13% of adults aged 40 and over had an exam for oral
cancer in the last 12 months.
In South Carolina, 14.6% of adults aged 18 and over had an exam for
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
Division of Oral Health
1751 Calhoun St
Columbia, SC 29205
Contact us for more information about ViziLite oral cancer screening.