Written by: Kelly Kunkel, Director of Strategic Development at Forward Science
April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month and we have asked Forward Science to write a guest blog and share this important message. Thank you to Forward Science and Kelly Kunkel for your contribution to our guest blog series this month.
- Educate your patients & community about oral cancer
The stereotypical demographic has changed from years past. While the traditional risk factors (smoking, drinking, family history, etc.) still apply, the fastest growing demographic of new oral cancer cases is younger patients without any of the traditional risk factors. Patients need to be aware and understand that everyone is at risk and should be screened annually for oral cancer. This is our industry’s cancer and we need to educate and make a difference in our communities. Forward Science works with each of our clients to help you spread the word and differentiate your practice.
- Use adjunctive screening technology
Did you know that 69% of oral cancers are found in their later stages? Fluorescence technology for early discovery of this growing epidemic has continued to evolve and allows you to identify abnormalities such as oral cancer, pre-cancer and other abnormal lesions at an earlier stage, thus saving lives. Adjunctive devices that incorporate this proven technology have been simplified and made to be cost-efficient. With devices like OralID that allow clinicians to use the latest technology with no cost per patient, oral cancer screening has become a no-brainer.
- Make sure EVERYONE on your team is trained
Like anything else you implement into your practice, training is key. Everyone in your practice, from front office to back, needs to be 100% comfortable talking to patients about the current statistics and why everyone needs to be screened, how the technology works, how to present the screening to the patient and do so with passion! If you’re going to talk the talk, you need to walk
- To Charge or not to charge
Enhanced oral cancer screening is a service you provide, and it is perfectly acceptable to expect an increase in revenue in return for the service. How to charge for enhanced oral cancer screening can vary from office to office and can increase your revenue significantly if you choose. When you are thinking about whether “to charge or not to charge,” remember that there is no right or wrong answer. By making the simple choice to incorporate this technology into your practice, you could be making a life-changing decision for your patients.
If during the screening an abnormal area is found, the typical protocol is to schedule the patient back for a follow up in approximately 2 weeks. If the lesion is still present and continues exhibit a loss of fluorescence, we will then move to the next step of the protocol; diagnostic testing. CytID is a simple and non-invasive test that will give a diagnostic result read by a pathologist on what is happening on a cellular level. CytID liquid based cytology is used “when you need to know more”, and is not a replacement for the standard of care biopsy. This will help you gain more information regarding the lesion, so we can have a more informed plan of action. In the common occurrence that the results come back normal, the patient’s mind will be at ease, but you as the clinician can also rest assured that you provided the best quality care.
Guest Blog Author
Science is a medical device company founded on advancing oral healthcare through early discovery (OralID), diagnostics (CytID, PathID, hpvID, phID), and treatment options (SalivaMAX & SalivaCAINE). Utilizing her 20 years of dental sales, marketing and practice management experience, Kelly continues to grow the Forward Science user base and develop strategic partnerships while revolutionizing the way dentists screen for oral cancer. You can contact Kelly at Forward Science: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call: 480.734.3914. Website: www.ForwardScience.com