Oral Cancer Exam and VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening
More than 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, according to research from the American Cancer Society. More than 7,000 of these cases result in patient death. The good news is that oral cancer can easily be detected through annual oral cancer screenings, and is effectively treated when caught early.
Oral cancer is a disease that begins at an asymptomatic stage during which the normal symptoms of cancer cannot be readily detected. This makes oral cancer screening by a dentist all the more important. Oral cancer can include tissue types such as teratoma, adenocarcinoma, and melanoma. The most common type of oral cancer is malignant squamous cell carcinoma. This type of oral cancer usually arises in the lips and oral mucosa.
- Salivary Glands
- Oropharyngeal Region (throat)
When oral cancer is detected early, treatment is usually more effective. Any obvious abnormalities around the tongue, palate, or mouth should be evaluated by a health care professional as soon as possible. During the oral cancer screening, the dentist and dental technician will closely examine the frontal palate and oral regions for signs of pathological changes.
How does the VELscope® work?
The VELscope® uses fluorescence visualization (FV) in exciting new ways. Specifically, bright blue light shines inside the mouth to reveal changes and lesions that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye One of the biggest challenges in diagnosing oral cancer is that its symptoms are similar to those of less serious problems. The VELscope® system gives the dentist important insight into what is happening below the surface.
The soft tissues of the nasopharynx naturally absorb the VELscope® frequency of blue light. Underneath the soft tissue, the healthy areas reflect green, and the problem areas are darker.
The benefits of using the VELscope® System include the following:
- Can be combined with digital photography.
- Detects lesions, white and red patches.
- Detects problem areas that cannot be seen under white light.
- Exposes precancerous and cancerous tissue.
- It helps dentists to check if diseased soft tissues have been completely removed.
- It helps detect oral cancer in its earliest stages, increasing the chances of survival.
- Quick, painless examinations.