Dentist Dr. Jay Grossman says that early detection of oral cancer begins in the dentist chair. He demonstrates how VisiLite cancer screening is performed using a vinegar-based mouth wash and a blue light to detect pre-cancerous cells.
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Oral Cancer Detection with Mouth Wash Drew Ordon: I’m here with Dentist Jay Grossman. He’s here to tell us about a mouthwash that can actually detect oral cancer. Also with us is his patient Teresa. Welcome to both of you. Teresa: Thank you. Jay Grossman: Thank you very much. Drew Ordon: So, what do you have for us? So first of all, what do you do with an oral cancer screening? Jay Grossman: Sure. Well, when you go to the dentist, ideally what you’re supposed to have done is a visual exam. So, I would sit down. For the patient, I would actually look and feel for any bumps, look for any lesions, look for areas that are bleeding and in particular, I want to know from the patient if there were any sores that have not dissipated over the last 14 days. Drew Ordon: So, what kind of other symptoms would you be looking for? Jay Grossman: Always looking for pain. Pain and in particular a sore that has not resolved itself within the past two weeks because past two weeks, that’s usually our date of concern. Drew Ordon: And typically, patients should have this at least once a year, right? Jay Grossman: That is correct. Drew Ordon: But now, you’re doing something new, new and improved that’s added to your regular screening. Jay Grossman: That’s correct. So originally, I had to rely on my eyes but what happens about those cells that are in the precancerous stage that haven’t turned yet, the patient hasn’t known about it yet. I mean each year, about 34,000 Americans get oral cancer. Only half of them will be around five years later because by the time it’s diagnosed, unfortunately, it’s too late. Drew Ordon: And yet, if you catch it early, it’s a treatable disease so that’s why it so important to get your annual screenings. So, tell us about the ViziLite. Jay Grossman: Sure. Well, how this works is very simple. Teresa, would you take that? Swish that around for 30 seconds. This is basically a vinegar-based product. What the vinegar does, it dries up the mouth. I’m going to take this light that I’ve just activated and we’re going to put this in the mouth. We’re actually going to take a look and we’re going to see if there’s a lesion, that literally light cell. Drew Ordon: So, what color would you be looking for for something that’s abnormal? Jay Grossman: I’d be looking for white. Drew Ordon: Okay. Jay Grossman: It would literally light up like a Christmas tree. Teresa, go ahead. You could spit that now. I’ll take this from you. Drew Ordon: All right, let’s take a look, say ah. Teresa: Ah. Jay Grossman: Could you stick your tongue up for me? That’s great. Perfect. So fortunately, Teresa is a healthy young lady, no lesions. Drew Ordon: As we would expect. Jay Grossman: And I’m sure she’s happy about. Drew Ordon: So Jay, actually you have a picture to show us to compare what a normal and what an abnormal test would look like. Tell us about that. Jay Grossman: We do. So, if you take a look for example at the top screen, that white lesion maybe blended in to the natural coloring of the mouth. Once we use the ViziLite product, it literally stains it blue. It’s popping up and from that, I can now make a decision whether we actually should go ahead and biopsy it and see what it is or not. And the truth is, it’s really just another great reason that everybody should go to their dentist on an annual basis, not just to take a look at cavities and gum disease but for oral cancer exam. Drew Ordon: Will most dentists be doing this for you? Jay Grossman: I certainly hope so. I certainly encourage my dentist. Drew Ordon: And if not, you should ask. Don’t be afraid to ask, right? Jay Grossman: That is correct. Drew Ordon: All right, thank you very much both of you. Teresa: Thank you.

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