VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System
More than 480,000 new cases of oral and throat cancers are diagnosed each year, and more than 35,000 of those cases are right here in Canada. Oral cancer kills one person every hour in North America; without proper detection methods, a person may have oral cancer and not even know it.
In almost all cases of oral cancer, early detection plays a major role in a patient’s chances of survival. By diagnosing and treating oral cancer early, a patient’s five-year survival rate is 80 to 90% greater.
Risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Frequent use of tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco)
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Genetics (a family history of oral cancer or any type of cancer)
Although males above the age of 50 are typically at the greatest risk for oral cancer, there has been a recent increase in the number of women with oral cancer due to a connection between oral cancer and the human papilloma virus (HPV-16).
How VELscope works
The VELscope screening system consists of a specialized white light source and viewing scope that make it easier for us to look closely at the tissues inside your mouth. Normal tissues will almost glow a bright green color. Abnormal tissue shows up much darker under the special light.
An abnormal screening does not always mean you have cancer. If an abnormal screening occurs, Dr Richardson may schedule a second scan later to see if the dark spots disappear, or perform a gentle, non-invasive brush biopsy to make sure it’s not cancerous.
Book an appointment with the warm, welcoming team at Dr Mark Richardson Dental
We can’t wait to see you smile!