About Oral Cancer & Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer rates are on the rise, and early detection is very important. At Kingsland Family Dental Care, Oral Cancer Screenings are a standard part of both our dental hygiene visits and routine checkups. We are proud to offer the VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening System as part of your patient examination.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer involves cancerous tissue growth located in the mouth. It may arise as a primary lesion in the tissues inside the mouth, by metastasis from a distant site of origin. There are several types of oral cancers, but around 90% are squamous cell carcinomas, originating in the tissues that line the mouth and lips. Oral cancer most commonly involves the tongue and may also occur on the floor of the mouth, cheek lining, gingiva (gums), lips, or palate (roof of the mouth).
What is the VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening System?
The VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening System is an incredible technology that was developed in Canada. It can detect hidden (and previously undetectable) Oral Cancer.
This hand-held device provides dentists and hygienists with an easy-to-use adjunctive mucosal examination system for the early detection of abnormal tissue. VELscope® is based on the direct visualization of tissue fluorescence and the changes in fluorescence that occur when abnormalities are present.
The VELscope® Handpiece emits a safe blue light into the oral cavity, which excites the tissue from the surface of the epithelium through to the basement membrane and into the stroma beneath, causing it to fluoresce. The clinician is then able to immediately view the different fluorescence responses to help differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue. In fact, VELscope® is the only non-invasive adjunctive device clinically proven to help discover occult oral disease.
Under VELscope® examination, abnormal tissue typically appears as irregular, dark areas that stand out against the otherwise normal, green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
While oral cancer can strike anyone, it most commonly occurs in people ages 45 and older who use tobacco in any form. Alcohol use in combination with tobacco use increases the risk significantly, and continual sun exposure increases the risk of lip cancer. Recent studies show that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may help prevent the development of oral lesions that are potentially cancerous.
At Kingsland Family Dental Care, we take Oral Cancer Screening very seriously. We encourage you to schedule a meet and greet visit with Dr. Alissa Khartchenko to learn more about VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening,