VELscope® technology is changing the way oral mucosal examinations take place. The VELscope® handheld device emits a harmless, bright blue light which is used to inspect the mouth and tongue. The device is sensitive to abnormal tissue changes and the distinctive blue-spectrum light causes the soft tissue (oral mucosa) of the mouth to naturally fluoresce. Healthy tissues fluoresce in distinct patterns that may be visibly disrupted when tissue undergoes an abnormal change (which can occur in the oral mucosa for a multitude of reasons,) such as when associated with dysplasia or oral cancer.*
Early detection of oral cancer offers the best chance of survival. Studies have shown that only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years.
Oral cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth. During oral cancer screening, we carefully examine the inside of your mouth and tongue for a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. To ensure that a spot or sore is not dangerous, we may perform a simple test, such as a brush test, to collect cells from your mouth for laboratory analysis. If precancerous cells are found, the lesion can be surgically removed.
What Are The Symptoms Of Oral Cancer?
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A color change of your gums
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
- A change in the way the teeth fit together
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use combined with smoking
- Prolonged exposure to the sun (lip cancer)
- If you are over the age of 40
- Reduce or stop tobacco use
- Reduce or stop alcohol use, especially if combined with smoking
- Reduce sun exposure, or use a high SPF sunscreen
- Have a diet high in fruits and vegetables