Have you noticed any mouth sore or lesion inside and around your mouth? It may or may not be painful, but there are sores and lesions that can be signs of oral cancer. Immediately visit Good Choice Dental Burwood or any dental clinic nearest to you if you observe the presence of these mouth sores. How do you think dentists and other specialists confirm the cause of these skin issues? Through clinical assessment and use of different devices like the VELscope. What is a VELscope and how does this instrument help dentists and other medical practitioners through fluorescence visualization?
Oral Cancer: Definition and Symptoms
We all know that cancer cells are naturally present and dormant in different parts of the body. Once they are activated, abnormal growth and spread of these cells may lead to damage of the organs they target. Such is the situation for oral cancer. Abnormal cells grow uncontrollably inside the mouth, causing lesions that do not seem to go away. Oral cancer can affect the tongue, cheek, lips, palate, sinuses, or the pharynx.
Symptoms that patients with oral cancer feel include:
- Presence of bumps or lesions in and around the mouth area
- White or red patches in the oral cavity
- Bleeding, swelling, and tenderness of the lesions
- Unexplainable discomfort on the neck, mouth, or throat that sometimes extends to the ears
- Changes noticeable in your voice, teeth alignment, and bite
Oral Cancer Screening
The objective of an oral cancer screening and assessment is to conduct an inspection performed either by a dentist or doctor (or both) to search for notable signals of cancer or a precancerous condition in your oral cavity. Early detection is the goal because it makes treatment faster and more successful.
How to Perform an Oral Cancer Screening
The common way of performing oral cancer screening is through direct observation and assessment of the physical condition of the mouth. The dentist or doctor assesses the mouth and looks for white or red patches, lesions, bleeding, and other observable sores in the mouth. A tissue sample of the lesions would have to be obtained to undergo a biopsy in order to confirm cancer growth.
Dentists and doctors can also use a special dye that settles on the cancerous tissues of the mouth when the solution is swished in the mouth. Moreover, because technology is now making advancements in all areas of medicine, there are now instruments that can be used to easily detect cancer of the mouth through fluorescence visualization, like using the VELscope.
What is a VELscope?
According to Apteryx Imaging and LED Dental Inc., the makers of VELscope or Visually Enhanced Lesion scope, this device is a wireless, handheld piece of equipment that utilizes natural tissue fluorescence to improve the way doctors an dental practitioners observe oral mucosal irregularities that may not be obvious or even evident to the naked eye. The VELscope is now part of the enhanced oral assessment system that medical and dental professionals follow in order to correctly diagnose and treat oral cancer. Using VELscope, according to the World Health Organization, helps us address oral cancer as a global problem more effectively. Several clinical studies have proven that fluorescence visualization of cancer cells in the mouth makes it easier to detect the presence of this traitorous disease early.