Over 30,000 new cases of oral cancer will be detected in the US alone each year. Oral cancer is the only cancer that is on the rise, but the most curable if caught early. The thing about oral cancer is that it may start off so harmless looking; a small bump or lump, a red or white spot in your mouth that you may not have even noticed.
Why is a cancer screening necessary?
Cancer screenings help detect pre- cancerous changes in the oral tissues at a stage when they can be more successfully treated. If cancer is not found early, tumors may grow deep into local tissues and spread to lymph glands in the neck. When tumors invade lymph glands, there is less of a chance for an effective treatment. Early detection is the key!
Why Early Discovery Matters?
The statistics are highly suggestive: when discovered early the 5-year survival rate for oral cancer patients is about 83%. Unfortunately, most cases of oral cancer are discovered in late stages, when the five-year survival rate drops to around 50 percent.
The VELscope device is based on an imaging modality which is sensitive to tissue changes. Its use in everyday practice can provide timely information to dentists and hygienists to enable enhanced visualization of abnormal tissues, which is beneficial for patients.
New research confirms that the risk factors for oral cancer have been expanded to include the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16), in addition to tobacco use, frequent and/or excessive alcohol consumption, a compromised immune system, and past history of cancer. This changing demographic presents an unprecedented call to action for oral cancer awareness and regular screenings.