Coast Dental and SmileCare Discounting Screening Exams during Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April
Oral cancer is on the rise. It’s no longer mostly smokers or tobacco-users developing it; it’s sexually-active adults between the ages of 20 and 50.
TAMPA, FL (March 28, 2012) – It’s a startling statistic: the percentage of head and neck cancers linked to certain strains of the sexually-transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) disease increased by 225% in the last two decades, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in October 2011. The authors predict HPV may lead to more cases of oral cancer than cervical cancer by 2020.
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Coast Dental and SmileCare are teaming up with the Oral Cancer Foundation to help more people get screened. Team members will declare, “We look for it,” on buttons supplied by the Oral Cancer Foundation to spark dialog about this deadly disease. Patients will receive a $10 discount on screening with Identafi®, a tool that employs three colors of light to examine oral tissue. Dentists at Coast and SmileCare supplement their conventional oral cancer exam with this tool because it enables them to detect potentially cancerous lesions and any hidden blood supply supporting them before they can be seen or felt with a manual exam.
The tool helped reveal that a 70-year-old SmileCare patient had Stage 1 oral cancer. The woman, who does not smoke and has no history of cancer in her family, thought she had a canker sore on her tongue. Her dentist sent her to have the spot biopsied, and because the cancer was caught so early, it could be surgically removed and the patient did not need any radiation or chemotherapy.
More than 35,000 people are diagnosed each year, and the fastest-growing group is not smokers; it’s sexually-active people under the age of 50. Recent studies show that 60% of oral and oropharyngeal cancers are linked to a strain of HPV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
”The media are doing a good job communicating the connection between HPV and oral cancer,” said Cindy Roark, DMD, chief clinical director for Coast Dental and SmileCare. “We are getting closer to the day when all patients look at an annual oral cancer screening exam the way they do mammograms, pap smears and prostate cancer exams.”
“Dentists are heroes in the fight against oral cancer,” said Brian Hill, executive director of the Oral Cancer Foundation and administrator of the Bruce Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund. “They are the healthcare professionals on the front line. Dentists are looking for oral cancer and educating patients about the connection with HPV and the need for annual screening exams. They are saving lives every day that could be lost to oral cancers.”
Call 1-800-32-SMILE today to make your appointment to get screened. It could save your life.
About Coast Dental and SmileCare
Coast Dental, P.A., with its professional associations including SmileCare, is one of the largest providers of general and specialty dental care in the U.S. with 182 affiliated practices operating as Coast Dental in Florida, Georgia and Texas. Coast Dental Services, Inc. is a privately-held practice management company that provides comprehensive, non-clinical business and administrative services to its affiliated practices. The company is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information, visit www.coastdental.com
About the Oral Cancer Foundation
The Oral Cancer Foundation is a national public service, non-profit organization designed to reduce suffering and save lives through prevention, education, research, advocacy and patient support activities. The organization is headquartered in Newport Beach, California. For more information, visit www.oralcancerfoundation.org.
Identafi® is an oral cancer screening tool that uses multi-spectral fluorescence and reflectance technology to enhance visualization of oral cancer or premalignant dysplasia that may not be apparent to the naked eye. Three distinct color wavelengths of light make it easier for dentists to distinguish lesions and vasculature. Identafi is a product of the DentalEZ Group headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.dentalez.com.