Did you know that more than one person per hour will die this year from oral cancer in North America? Did you know that oral cancer is more deadly than other forms of cancer, like skin cancer, because it is usually found later in development? Did you know that the fastest growing segment of the population developing oral cancer is young people as a result of HPV?
In addition to the visual and palpation checks we do at your recalls and exams, we have responded to this oral cancer threat by introducing an additional screening measure, the VELscope.
How Does a VELscope work?
Our VELscope works through tissue flourescence. This is an optic phenomenon that allows us to differentiate between normal and rapidly-changing tissue.
When a VELscope is turned on, a ring of light illuminates the tissues in your mouth. The wavelength and intensity of this light causes the healthy tissues of your mouth to fluoresce green. By contrast, areas of concern will appear dark against the green healthy tissue.
We use this tool to help identify oral cancer and premalignant dysplasia. The VELscope is also useful in locating lichen planus, squamous papillomas, candidiasis, viral and bacterial infections, lichenoid mucositis and inflammation from trauma, smoking or other causes.