Doctors Raise Awareness On Often-Overlooked Oral Cancer


by Angela Davis, WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – This month doctors are trying to raise awareness about a type of cancer that dentists are often the first to notice.

It’s oral cancer and it affects the tongue and other parts of the mouth. The disease is typically found in people who smoke, and in its late stages because it is easy to overlook the signs.

Brooke Vitense says she’s always been good about going to the dentist regularly, but when she was 26-years-old her dentist sent her to her doctor.

“Almost two years to the day now, I noticed these little white spots under my tongue. They weren’t painful. They just kind of showed up. I don’t know I just noticed them,” Brooke said.

A biopsy revealed Brooke had pre-cancerous cells. She had surgery to remove the spots on her tongue.

“The pathology came back from that initial surgery that there was a cancerous tumor – stage one tumor in the spots that were removed,” she said.

Brooke had a second surgery – this time to remove a third of her tongue. For weeks, she couldn’t talk…

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