Velscope Oral Cancer Screening in North Vancouver
Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, is any form of cancer in the oral cavity, including the anatomy of the tongue, cheeks, lips, gums, and roof or floor of the mouth.
While there are various causes, the most common include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, sun exposure, age, and the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Oral cancer leads to more deaths than any other cancer but is often discussed much less than other variations of this disease.
In BC alone, about 1 in 800 people have precancerous cells in their mouth, and approximately 3,200 Canadians are diagnosed with oral cancer annually. The reason for the high mortality rate is late detection.
At Bayview Lonsdale Dentist, we believe early detection and intervention save lives. As such, we are proud to offer Velscope oral cancer screening to our patients and community.
What is Velscope Oral Cancer Screening?
Dentists are highly-educated and well-trained, especially when it comes to oral health. One area of training is learning to recognize, detect, and diagnose lumps, bumps, and suspicious lesions.
Not all malignancies are visible to the naked eye. At Bayview Lonsdale Dentistry, we have technology on our side. The Velscope screening system allows us to see more and detect earlier. It uses a special blue light that allows the dentist to visualize oral tissue and view any irregularities in contrast to healthy tissue.
If abnormal tissue is present, a simple and gentle brush biopsy can be done on-site and additional screenings to gather more information and confirm diagnosis. This screening allows for early detection of cancerous cells and increases the survival rate to 83% compared to 32% during late detection.
How Velscope Oral Cancer Screening Works
The Velscope oral screening is a safe and non-invasive procedure that uses an innovative handheld tool that shines a blue light into the patient’s mouth to look for any suspicious lesions, bacterial growth and fungal infections.
The entire procedure takes less than five minutes and does not involve any home preparation, dyes, or radiation.
To begin, the dentist will do a standard oral examination without the scope. Next, you will be given a solution to swish around the mouth for a minute to prepare for the scope. Your dentist may wear specialized eyewear and will dim the lights for better visualization.
Then, the blue light, or an excitation lamp scope, will be projected into the mouth and use Fluorescence Visualization (FV) to detect the presence of precancerous and cancerous cells as the frequency of the light provides a visual contrast between healthy and affected cells.
Normal tissue will absorb the light and will present with a soft green glow, whereas lesions will appear darker under the scope light.
If any lesions are suspected, a brush biopsy will be performed and sent away to confirm or negate the appearance of oral cancer.
The oral cancer diagnosis test should be repeated annually.
Velscope Oral Cancer Screening in North Vancouver
At Bayview Lonsdale Dentist, we believe the best way to ensure early detection is to complete the Velscope Oral Screening as part of your regular dental checkups. A few extra minutes now could add years to your life.
Benefits of Veloscope Oral Cancer Screening
If you’re still wondering why you should have a Velscope oral screening done, check out some of the advantages seen with this innovative technology:
- It’s quick, painless, and non-invasive
- It detects problems not visible to the eye alone
- It detects white and red patches
- It screens for bacteria, fungus, lesions, precancerous and cancerous tissue
- It shows lesions not seen under white light
- It can be used in adjunct with digital photography
- It’s FDA and Health Canada approved
- It detects oral cancer in its earliest stages, allowing for early intervention, treatment, and improved survival rate.
- After surgical intervention, dentists can verify that all diseased tissue has been removed from an affected area.
How Much Does Velscope Oral Cancer Screening Cost?
While dental insurance does not typically cover oral cancer screenings, we ensure the cost is not prohibitive. While the Velscope oral cancer screening is only an additional $25, we believe it’s actually priceless.
Choose Us for Oral Cancer Screening in North Vancouver
You’ve read the facts and seen the stats. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the at-risk category of late oral cancer detection. We offer this innovative Velscope exam technology at 108 11th St E, suite #110, in North Vancouver.
Come into our stylish Lonsdale clinic, where we offer compassionate care and expert oral cancer screening dentists. We offer free parking, direct billing, and a wide range of dental services to care for your entire family.
Velscope Oral Cancer Screening FAQs
How long does a VELscope exam take to perform?
Typically, the Velscope oral cancer test takes 2-5 minutes to complete. Additional time will be taken if needed for imaging, biopsies, and any repeat testing where necessary.
Who should administer Velscope exams?
Your doctor, dentist or hygienist can administer the Velscope oral cancer check. They should be educated and trained on both the protocol and findings.
Is Velscope safe?
Yes, the Velscope system for mouth cancer screening is, in fact, safe. The blue light source from the scope does not emit any radiation. It is completely painless, and there are no side effects.
Is Velscope a diagnostic tool?
Velcope can be considered special imaging like x-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans as it captures images of your oral cavity (mouth) to detect the presence of suspicious lesions.
It is not a stand-alone diagnostic test; it works together with oral examinations to provide the best information for your dentist to diagnose the findings accurately.
What is tissue fluorescence?
When the scope is held up to visualize the inside of the mouth, the blue light shining on the healthy tissue will be absorbed and re-emit the light with a soft glow on another wavelength, creating an optical phenomenon known as tissue fluorescence.
In opposition, the affected tissue will not absorb the light and instead appear darker. This allows the dentist to detect the areas that need further evaluation for potential malignancies.