Oral Cancer Screening
In this year alone approximately 35,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with oral cancer. When found early, oral cancer has a very high survival rate. Unfortunately, when patients don’t see the dentist every six months, most oral cancer is found as late stage cancer.
Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.
Dr. Gerkin uses the OralCDx® oral cancer screening system. It is an easy, painless and definitive way for Dr. Gerkin to test the common small white and red oral spots that most people have in their mouth at one time or another. The BrushTest is used to determine if a common oral spot contains abnormal cells (known as dysplasia) that, if left alone for several years, may develop into oral cancer.
VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System
The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that over 350,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year. The mortality rate of oral cancer has not changed in over thirty years in part to the fact that it is not diagnosed early enough.
With the VELacope oral cancer screening system, our doctors and hygienist can detect suspect areas before they are visible to the naked eye. Oral cancer appears as white, red, or white and red patches. However, when these patches are seen by the naked eye it typically means the cancer is already in an advanced stage. VELscope allows us to detect possible oral cancer at its earliest stage, when oral cancer is still often curable.
The system uses a powerful blue light to increase our ability to see lesions, cancerous, and precancerous cells typically invisible to the naked eye. The light allows us to distinguish between normal and abnormal cells with a higher rate of accuracy. The results are documented using pictures and can be stored digitally. VELscope also allows for better removal of all diseased tissue.
Screening is completed in a minute or two using a small hand-held devise, it’s a non-invasive procedure that can save your life.