VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System
More than 480,000 new cases of oral and throat cancers are diagnosed each year, and over 35,000 of those cases are right here in the United States. Oral cancer kills one person every hour in the U.S., and 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 80-90% 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)
- Excessive exposure to the sun at a young age
While men above the age of 50 are typically at the most 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).
At Dr Wade Takenishi’s office it has always been our goal to provide the best dental services to our patients. We are excited to introduce VELscope, a new technology that will help us provide an even more thorough oral cancer examination for you. As we care about our patients health as well as their teeth, we are now offering oral cancer screenings yearly as a part of recall visits. This new technology will assist us in detecting disease, infections, precancerous, and cancerous tissues that are not visible to the naked eye. The VELscope screening will be performed on all patients over the age of 18. The screening is unfortunately not covered by most dental insurance plans at this time so there will be a nominal fee for this extremely beneficial diagnostic procedure.
The VELscope emits a safe, high energy light which excites the tissues in the oral cavity beneath the visible surface. As the tissue return to normal energy levels it re-emits the absorbed light energy in a form of fluorescence. Special optical filters in the VELscope enable the clinician to view the different patterns emitted by the tissue, it allows the clinicians to differentiate between normal and abnormal cells.
For any questions regarding VELscope, feel free to call our office at 593-2775.