CINCINNATI - The number of oral and throat cancers caused by HPV is growing.
As with all cancers, the key is early diagnosis.
Doctor Fred Peck, a Tri-State dentist is using a new oral cancer screening device on his patients.
The device is called a velscope. It's one of the most powerful tools available for assisting in the discovery of oral abnormalities.
"It has a fluorescent light that allows me to illuminate inside the mouth that I can look for areas of inflammation or swelling or areas that appear that would be possibly indicative of an oral cancer developing," Peck said.
Dr. Peck can use the velscope to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
He can take a digital image of the lesion and send it with a biopsy right to an oral pathologist.
Oral and throat cancers usually appear as small sores or growths.
"If there's a swelling that doesn't go away, if there's a sore, like a canker sore, that stays for more than a couple of weeks. Numbness, hoarseness of the throat. Red or white spots on the tongs or gums," said Peck.
If you have any of those symptoms you should see your dentist.
More information on Oral Cancer: CDC Oral Health