Oral Cancer Screening with Velscope
In addition to taking care of your mouth at home, routine dental cleanings and exams are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. Oral exams are essential for detecting oral health issues in their earliest stages, allowing us to provide you with fast, effective treatment to prevent serious consequences from occurring. Along with checking your teeth and gums, we also look over your intraoral tissues for early warning signs of oral cancer. At Neu Family Dental, we can more effectively perform an oral cancer screening thanks to Velscope.
Oral cancer is the largest group of cancers that affect the head, mouth, and neck. It can start just about anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, and cheeks. It can even begin at the back of the mouth near the entrance to your throat. As oral cancer grows, it spreads to the lymph nodes, and then on to other areas of the body, issues that make effective treatment more difficult. Early detection and treatment are essential. However, the earliest stages are often difficult to detect, leading to detection in later stages. Oral cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, with just over half of those diagnosed surviving past five years after diagnosis.
What are the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?
While oral cancer can affect anyone, there are certain factors that can increase your risk for developing this devastating disease. Risk factors include:
Detecting Oral Cancer with Velscope
Part of your routine dental exams is an oral cancer screening. During this screening, we look over the soft tissues in your mouth, checking for any signs of abnormalities, including unusual growths, and red or white patches. Should we find anything unusual, a soft tissue biopsy is often performed to determine, or rule out, the presence of oral cancer.
The Velscope oral cancer scanner is an additional tool that helps us to detect the presence of potentially precancerous and cancerous abnormalities in your mouth. The scanner can detect these abnormalities in their earliest stages. It is completely non-invasive.
When we use Velscope, we hold the scanner at the entrance of your mouth. The scanner then emits a blue light over your intraoral tissues. When we look through a special lens, we can detect anything unusual. Through the lens, healthy tissue appears green. Any precancerous or cancerous lesions absorb the light and therefore appear black. Despite having several layers of tissue, the Velscope oral cancer scanner can detect the earliest symptoms of growths in your mouth, improving the chances of treatment success. With the scanner, we are also able to determine a more accurate border of the growth, allowing for complete removal of the abnormality.
Early detection of oral cancer is essential for providing you with the treatment you need to stop the spread of the disease and restore the health of your mouth. The Velscope scanner provides us with an additional tool for detecting oral cancer in its earliest stages. For more information, call Neu Family Dental today at (847) 230-9143.
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