Oral Cancer is on the rise in Canada. This devastating illness can often have few or no symptoms and can be challenging to identify with the naked eye – even for a trained professional. Knowing the risk factors and getting oral screening is important for early detection and successful treatment of oral cancer. Diagnosis and treatment in the initial stages improves survival rates significantly.
Some of the risk factors that contribute to the development of oral cancer are:
- Exposure to sun – those who have suffered childhood burns are at risk along with those who work or are active outside for excessive periods of time without adequate protection from the sun
- Both smoking and excessive alcohol use can be risk factors, especially when the two are combined
- Genetic predisposition to cancer
- Being over the age of 40 increases the likelihood of developing oral cancer, with the most common group affected being men over 50
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Infection
Early Detection with VELscope
The VELscope screening system allows your doctor to conduct a much more detailed exam of your mouth. Using a special light source, the doctor is able to view oral tissues through a scope, illuminating healthy tissue and showing any abnormalities in a contrasting darker hue.
If abnormal tissues are detected, your doctor can determine what further actions are required to confirm whether or not there is a cancer diagnosis. A simple, pain free brush biopsy can be conducted or further screening can be scheduled to see if the abnormalities disappear on their own.
Discover Dental uses VELscope Oral Cancer Screening as a valuable tool in diagnosing oral cancer to ensure early successful treatment for patients.