Introducing an Important and Conservative New Option in the Detection of Oral Cancer
One person every hour of every day dies from oral cancer in the United States. It has become the sixth leading cancer among men and is one of the few cancers in which the rate of detection is increasing among young adults. Most people are not aware of the potential risk factors; however, when detected early enough, the survival rate for oral cancer is very high.
At one time oral cancer was predominantly seen among smokers; however, increasingly, oral cancer is being seen in people of all ages. Although smoking is still a leading factor, many other criteria such as age, family history, ethnicity, and alcohol consumption also play a role. Leading experts have surmised that an increasing cause of oral cancer is exposure to HPV (human papilloma virus), a sexually transmitted disease, which is the primary precursor of cervical cancer. These various factors all point toward the need for better technology to assist in the early detection of this curable disease.
As you are well aware, at every recall visit we always conduct a comprehensive oral cancer screening for all of our patients. Recently, we incorporated a breakthrough technology that will allow us to see things in the mouth that we've been unable to see previously. By detecting potential problems earlier, we will be providing our patients with the best oral health care currently available.
This new and exciting technology, called VELscope®, utilizes a narrow band of safe, high-energy blue light and a specialized filtering technology to help thoroughly evaluate the oral tissues for abnormal areas of concern, such as potentially cancerous lesions that may not be evident under a white light.
As we care about your health as well as your teeth, we are now offering this to all patients as part of their regular oral examination. We believe that this new technology will assist us in detecting disease at the earliest stages and, therefore, catch abnormalities before they turn into cancer.