VELscope Oral Cancer Screening
More than 480,000 new cases of oral and throat cancers are diagnosed each year worldwide. Oral cancer kills one person every day in Australia 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 papillomavirus (HPV-16).
How VELscope works
The VELscope screening system consists of a specialized light source and viewing scope that make it easier to look closely at the tissues inside your mouth. Normal tissues will almost glow a bright green color. Abnormal tissue shows up much darker under the special light.
An abnormal screening does not always mean that the patient has cancer. If an abnormal screening occurs, we might schedule a second scan later to see if the dark spots disappear, or may choose to perform a biopsy to make sure it’s not cancer.
Early detection is vital
When cancer is discovered late, survival rates are as low as 28%; when it’s discovered early, survival rates are as high as 82%
The potential to reveal what’s hidden
Under examination with Sapphire Plus LD, normal tissue appears green while dysplasia shows up as a dark area, exposing potential suspicious lesions that may not have been apparent under incandescent light.
HPV linked to oral cancer
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has been linked to oral cancer cases in young, non-smoking individuals with low levels of alcohol consumption.