The Two Minute Exam That Can Save Your Life
In our office, free oral cancer screening has always been a routine part of his patients regular oral exams for those 18 years of age and older. During this exam Dr. Levy and Dr. Gatha use the VELscope, a revolutionary, sophisticated hand-held device used for oral cancer screening that can save a persons life. VELscope’s fluorescence technology provides early detection of abnormal oral tissues.
Patients love the reassurance and peace of mind it gives them.
Complimentary Oral Cancer Screening
The technique is completely non-invasive. The VELscope emits a blue light into your mouth that penetrates through the surface of your oral tissues. This causes different fluorescence responses deep within the oral tissues that helps Drs. Levy and Gatha differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue. Under the light, normal tissue will glow a bright green. Abnormal tissue shows up much darker.
Nearly 50,000 new cases of oral and throat cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States. Oral cancer kills one person every hour in the U.S., and without proper detection methods, a person may have oral cancer and not even know it until its too late. Early detection plays a major role in a patients survival. By diagnosing and treating oral cancer early, a patients five year survival rate is 80 to 90 percent greater.
Risk Factors For Oral Cancer Include:
- Frequent use of tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco.
- Excessive alcohol consumption: Consuming two or more alcoholic beverages a day greatly increases your risk.
- Excessive exposure to sun at a young age: Use a lip balm with a high SPF factor when out in the sun.
- Genetics: A family history of oral cancer or any type of cancer.
- Number of sexual partners: The greater your number of sexual partners, the more likely you are to contract an HPV infection, especially if you are having oral sex. Having sex with a partner who has had multiple sex partners also increases your risk.
- Weakened Immune Systems: People who have weakened immune systems are at greater risk of HPV infections. Immune systems can be weakened by HIV/AIDS or by immune system-suppressing drugs used after organ transplants.
In the past it had typically been men above the age of 50, especially those who were smokers and drinkers, who were most at risk for oral cancer. The fastest growing segment of the population with new cases of oral cancer is young people, particularly women, who have contracted the human papilloma virus (HPV-16).
The VELscope was featured on The Doctor OZ show, Oral Cancer The Scary Truth. Please click this link as it’s a program none one should miss!
Oral Cancer Signs and Symptoms:
- An ulcer or sore that does not heal within 2-3 weeks
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Pain when chewing
- A persistent sore throat or hoarse voice
- A swelling or lump in the mouth
- A painless lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks
- A numb feeling in the mouth or lips
- Constant coughing
- An ear ache on one side (unilateral) which persists for more than a few days
Contact our office to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation oral cancer screening including a VELscope examination.