VELscope: It Could Save Your Life
Did you know that oral cancer steals the life of one American every hour? We don't hear much about oral cancer, but 34,000 patients will be diagnosed each year. Only half of patients diagnosed with oral cancer will survive longer than five years. Because it is often detected in the later stages, oral cancer's mortality rate is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin's disease, brain, liver, kidney, or ovarian cancer. Treatment for oral cancer often causes disfiguration and lessens the patient's quality of life.
Thanks to VELscope, an amazing new technology, dentists and hygienists can quickly and painlessly screen for oral cancer. VELscope is a fluorescence-based identification system that detects tissue abnormalities and is used in combination with traditional visual exams.
All adults should have an annual VELscope exam because a quarter of oral cancer victims are non-smokers, don't drink, and have no lifestyle factors to heighten their oral cancer risks. Men over 40, and women between the ages of 20 and 40, are the most prone to the disease. Patients with lifestyle risks, including any tobacco use, daily alcohol consumption, viral infections, autoimmune deficiencies like HIV, and diabetes, may need more frequent evaluations.
The screening involves use of a special light to illuminate abnormal cells, so they appear distinctly different from the surrounding normal tissue.
Over 30,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer annually in the United States. With a mortality rate of over 50% at 5 years, one person every hour of every day dies of oral cancer in America. If detected early however, oral cancer is 90% survivable. Ask Dr. Windle about whether you could benefit from a VELscope oral cancer screening.