Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer, a significant number of which suffer from oral cancer in particular. This condition can cause devastating effects on one’s mouth and even lead to death. As with any form of cancer, early detection is the key to increasing the chances of eliminating the disease and minimizing the complications associated with the affliction.
The Importance of Detecting Oral Cancer Promptly
Until now, there have been minor developments in the way of screening methods for this condition, although other areas of dentistry have allowed for diagnoses to be made much more quickly. Aside from the apparent problems that oral cancer can create, the effects of treating the disease in its later stages of development can have just as much of an impact on a patient’s well-being. The main areas which are affected are the person’s ability to speak, chew and swallow, which is the all the more reason why more effective detection technology is a necessity.
The Velscope Oral Cancer Screening System Advantage
One of the most recent technological advancements with respect to oral cancer detection is the Velscope oral cancer screening system. This utilizes light and fluorescence visualization as a means for examining a patient’s mouth in a non-evasive manner. The test can be performed quickly with minimal interference, and has proved to be extremely accurate in the findings it generates.
Dentists use multiple light-based detection products, including ViziLite Plus, Orascoptic DK and Microlux/DL. One of the advantages Velscope has over these systems is that it does not require the patient to perform a pre-rinse prior to the examination.
How Velscope Works
The Velscope technology uses blue light to illuminate the epithelial cells and stroma inside the patient’s mouth, and by doing this, it allows the Dr. Sanderson to see any tissue abnormalities as well as changes that may be present; in most cases these are invisible to the naked eye.
It should be noted that no light-based detection technology, including Velscope, is effective enough to be a standalone screening tool. The only way to determine for certain whether a patient has oral cancer is via a scalpel biopsy and oral examination. However, this technology has undoubtedly facilitated and enhanced the screening process, and will continue to be an invaluable tool for dentists and their patients.