There are more than 400,000 new cases of oral cancer each year. Oral cancer is one of the most common, and unfortunately, also one of the most deadly cancers worldwide. The death rate associated with this type of cancer is not due to the difficulty in diagnosis, but in the timing of the diagnosis. Commonly, oral cancer is discovered far too late in the disease and thus, the repercussions are scary. The good news? If we catch it early enough – there is between an 80 and 90% survival rate. How do we diagnose early? Find out below.
Let’s Talk About How We Diagnose Oral Cancer!
We are dedicated to providing our patients with the latest and greatest technology. VelScope and Goccles are the new, revolutionary technologies made to detect oral cancer earlier. VelScope and Goccles contain an optical filter that works in conjunction with an LED light to highlight areas that show rapid cellular growth, which can be indicative of cancer. Soft tissues in the mouth have a special kind of molecule that can produce a pale light when illuminated by a light source, but the light cannot be seen by the naked eye. By wearing Goccles or using the VelScope, suspicious lesions become visible.
What to Expect During your Oral Cancer Exam.
- Your oral health expert will conduct a thorough exam on both the inside of the mouth and the outside of the mouth to determine any areas of concern.
- You will be given special kind of glasses to protect your eyes during the oral cancer screening. Your oral health provider will also switch into his/her own special kinds of glasses.
- Your dental professional will begin the exam, but with the use of a special light, in conjunction with the Goccles or the VelScope.
- If anything suspicious is noted, a two-week follow-up appointment is recommended where we will reassess the area of concern and possibly refer you for a biopsy to determine if pathology is present.
You SHOULD be having an Oral Cancer Screening EVERY YEAR!
- With your complete oral exams
- If you smoke tobacco or marijuana
- If you drink alcohol more than 2x/week
- If you have a family history of cancer
- If you are immunocompromised
- If you notice anything in your mouth that does heal after two weeks
If you have any other questions about your oral cancer screenings, please contact us!
We are committed to reducing the severity of oral cancer, one mouth at a time!