Tony Gwynn’s death reinforces danger of smokeless tobacco

Written by Jeffery Platt on . Posted in Latest Posts

Tony Gwynn’s death from smokeless tobacco is a tragedy that can be prevented. Dr. Platt is here to help anyone who would like information on oral cancer and smokeless tobacco.  This is why Dr. Platt recommends yearly cancer screenings with our Velscope:

Smokeless kills.

And yet big league ballplayers, coaches, and managers still use smokeless tobacco.

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died of salivary gland cancer Monday at the age of 54. Gwynn blamed his mouth cancer on his habit of dipping smokeless tobacco during his 20-year career with the San Diego Padres.

Some quotes from MLB players shed a significant light on the subject.

“Cancer runs in my family,’’ said Buchholz, as he sat in front of his locker with a wad of smokeless tobacco wedged between his lower lip and gums. “There’s been people that have never smoked a cigarette or had a dip or chew and they’ve died of lung cancer.

“Everybody here is a grown man, and I think that’s how everybody views it. I don’t dip during the offseason, it’s only during baseball. It’s more of a stress-reliever type of thing for me.’’

“I’m trying to stop,’’ said Pedroia. “It’s not a good habit. It’s one of those things, you try like heck. I wish I had never started.” “Everyone crushes me about it. You don’t want any kid to start doing it. Obviously, it’s addicting. It’s not good for you and can cause a lot of problems.”

I have seen a number of patients, that with the help of our Velscope cancer detection technology we have been able to catch some areas in the mouth at the beginning of change towards cancer.  Early detection is the key to a successful, less invasive treatment than waiting until a dis-figurative surgical intervention is needed.  Oral cancer is on the rise especially in the 20 year old age group.  Oral cancer is not just limited to those who use tobacco products, have a small regular amount of alcohol consumption, genetically may have more of a predisposition towards oral cancer.  Oral cancer is showing up in all age groups, all socio-economic lifestyles, all races and all genders and that is why I highly recommend a yearly oral cancer evaluation with our Velscope for every patient out of high school until death.  We catch a few cases each year and are able to stop cancer in its tracks early rather than when it is dis-figurative.

If you haven’t had a Velscope oral cancer screening please come in today for your evaluation by a highly trained professional.




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Colorado Springs, CO 80920
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