According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8000 deaths, killing approximately 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.
Of those 40,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years!
More people are being diagnosed with oral cancer than ever before. In the past, traditional risk factors such as drinking alcohol, smoking, and using chewing tobacco were considered the only cause of oral cancer, usually found in people 40 and older. Oral cancer is not being found in a younger population of women and men due to their exposure to the HPV ( Human Papillomavirus). That is why the Center for Disease Control recommends that all patients over the age of 17 be screened annually for oral cancer.
The doctors use a special screening technology that has proven successful in identifying soft tissue abnormalities, which in combination with a routine visual examination, provide a comprehensive oral screening for their patients.
The VELscope is a handheld device that emits a harmless, bright blue light which is used to inspect the mouth and tongue. The device is sensitive to abnormal tissue changes and the distinctive blue- spectrum light causes the soft tissue of the mouth to fluoresce. The VELscope helps visualize abnormal oral tissue such as potential cancerous or pre- cancerous tissues that are not apparent with the naked eye alone.
Oral cancer is one of the most curable disease when it is caught early. Early detection and diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in life expectancy: oral cancer is 90% curable in its early stages.