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Oral cancer can form in any part of the mouth or throat. Most oral cancers begin in the tongue and in the floor of the mouth.

Approximately 35,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year and about 7,600 will die from the disease. On average, 60 percent of those with the disease will survive more than 5 years.

Who Is at Risk of Oral Cancer?

Anyone can get oral cancer, but the risk is higher if you are male, over age 40, use tobacco or alcohol or have a history of head or neck cancer. Infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (specifically the HPV 16 type) has been linked to a subset of oral cancers. Frequent sun exposure is also a risk of lip cancer.

Possible Symptoms of Oral Cancer Include:
  • white or red patches in your mouth
  • a mouth sore that won’t heal
  • bleeding in your mouth
  • loose teeth
  • problems or pain with swallowing
  • a lump in your neck
  • an earache
Early Detection:

It is important to find oral cancer as early as possible when it can be treated more successfully.

An oral cancer examination can detect early signs of cancer. The exam is painless and takes only a few minutes.

Your regular dental hygiene appointment is an excellent opportunity to have the exam. During the exam, a dental hygienist will check your face, neck, lips, and entire mouth for possible signs of cancer.

Nowadays we have the ability to diagnose a wide variety of oral abnormalities — often before they’re visible to our eye. Dr. Kakos’ office use VELscope – Oral Cancer Screening System.

VELscope is the only non-invasive adjunctive device clinically proven to help discover the occult oral disease.

How Does the VELscope Work?

The use of VELscope is fairly straight forward. The clinician shines the VELscope handpiece into the patient’s mouth. The handpiece emits a blue light that excites the oral tissue from the surface of the epithelium through to the basement membrane, which is where premalignant changes usually begin, and into the stroma beneath. The light then causes the tissue to fluoresce. Abnormal tissue typically appears as an irregular, dark area that stands out against the otherwise normal, green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue.

Please read the newest study below to learn more about the successful use of VELscope Technology for the detection of Oral Cancer and Pre-Cancer.

The study supports tissue fluorescence visualization technology for oral cancer detection

Posted by Lee Mather
Associate Editor, BioOptics World

Tissue fluorescence visualization technology developer LED Medical Diagnostics (Burnaby, BC, Canada) is part of a recent clinical study documenting the ability of the company’s VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment adjunctive technology to detect cancerous and precancerous lesions that are missed by conventional exams.

The study involved 85 male and female patients considered to be at risk for oral cancer due to a history of smoking, alcohol use, or head and neck cancer. All patients were screened for oral cancer and precancer in two ways: a conventional clinical examination, consisting of palpation of the face and neck to check for lumps and a naked eye inspection of the oral cavity to look for lesions; and an examination of the oral cavity using the company’s VELscope Vx advanced oral screening system, which uses patented tissue fluorescence visualization technology to help detect abnormal oral tissue.

The conventional and VELscope Vx exams detected 13 lesions that were biopsy-confirmed to be either malignant or pre-malignant. Importantly, five of these lesions were missed by the conventional exam but detected by the VELscope Vx exam. Adding the VELscope Vx exam to the screening process increased the number of cancerous or precancerous lesions detected by 62.5%.

Recommended website:

Source of information is:
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website
National Cancer Institute website
“BioOptics World”, Lee Mather -05/07/2013

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