Oral Cancer Prevention with Velscope
Oral cancer is one of the few types of cancer that have not experienced a significantly reduced mortality rate in the past 30 years. In fact, the number of North Americans developing oral cancer is three times the number who develops cervical cancer. Unfortunately, the majority of oral cancer cases are discovered in late stages, and often it is simply too late.
While these statistics are alarming you can lower your risk by avoiding the risk factors under your control by refraining from tobacco products in any form, drinking in moderation, and using at least SPF30 sun block on your lips.
The second factor that will reduce your risk is early detection. Our practice invested in a state-of-the art device called VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System. The VELscope Vantage System is the only adjunctive Oral Cancer Screening System commercially available today using patented Tissue Fluorescence Discovery Technology.
Dr. Roxy was one of the first dentists in Colorado Springs, CO who incorporated this technology into her dental practice. The VELscope exam takes about two minutes as part of your
The VELscope allows clinicians to visualize in a completely new way whether a patient might have a developing oral cancer. This simple hand held device emits a band of blue light onto the mucosa of the oral cavity and excites the molecules within the cells. Normal healthy cells absorb the light energy and re-emit a pale, apple-green light, while the potentially early tumors and the cancerous cells appear very dark, maroon or black.
The biggest risks in developing oral cancer are smoking, alcohol use and exposure to HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). The study which linked HPV to the increase in base of tongue cancer was published in the International Journal of Cancer in January 2010.
However a large number of the oral cancer patients who were diagnosed in the past few years had no risks at all. This means that everyone should be regularly screened, regardless of life style or risk factors.
If you have any questions about oral cancer or the VELscope exam, please let us know. You can also visit LED Dental website for additional information. Your oral health is key to your overall health, and we want to help you in any way we can.