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Oral Cancer

Diagnosing Oral Cancer Early with Identafi®

Oral cancer claims approximately one American life every hour of every day, putting it above cervical cancer and skin cancer. Certain behaviors, such as tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, have been linked with this deadly disease, but not everyone who develops oral cancer fits this profile. Roughly 25 percent of oral cancer patients had none of the normal risk factors. Surprisingly, HPV is playing a larger and larger role in the development of oral cancer, especially in young men and young women.

With all of this in mind, Drs. Farthing and Tepner believe in the importance of oral cancer screenings. According to recent statistics, in about 10 percent of oral cancer patients, dentists notice problem areas before the patient does. One way we try to find these problem areas is with a tool called Identafi.

Identafi is a handheld device that uses special wavelength light to illuminate areas of concern before they’re visible with the naked eye. By the time these problem areas can be detected without specialized tools, the patient’s chances of fully recovering have already declined. Our hope, by using Identafi, is to reverse this trend and save lives.

Because oral cancer screenings are typically completed during routine checkups, visiting Indianapolis Family Dentistry on a regular basis is essential. We recommend seeing Dr. Farthing or Dr. Tepner at least twice a year for a comprehensive exam and cleaning. At your next appointment, we’ll complete an oral cancer screening in addition to assessing your smile for other common problems.

For more information about oral cancer, support groups, or treatments, visit oralcancerfoundation.org.