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Utah 2014

Oral Cancer Screenings - VELscope

Dr. Nelson added the VELscope oral cancer screening system to his standard of care. This is cutting edge technology.  Every hour of every day, one person dies of Oral Cancer in North America. Its five-year mortality rate of approximately 50% is higher than that of breast cancer, cervical cancer and skin melanoma, and its incidence and mortality are rising. An increasing number of victims of this deadly and disfiguring disease are younger females and males who do not use tobacco or alcohol. One potential reason for this trend, is that oral cancer has been associated with a strain of the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV). This means that anyone who is sexually active is at risk for mouth cancer. Until recently, the primary method for detecting mouth cancer has been a visual screening that relies on the naked eye view of the oral cavity under white, or incandescent, light as well as palpation. Unfortunately, cancers are often apparent under these conditions only when they are at or near the surface of the mouth or tongue, which in many cases happens only in late stages. Often times, too late. Now, however, there is new hope in the form of a breakthrough technology with the VELscope. Dr. Nelson uses the VELscope technology, called tissue fluorescence visualization, to shine a safe blue light into the oral cavity that excites the mucosal tissue. When viewed through the patented handpiece filters, abnormal tissue typically appears as an irregular, dark area that stands out against the otherwise green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue. If abnormal tissue is detected and determined to be a potential cause for concern, Dr. Nelson will refer the patient for biopsy and diagnosis. Every dental office needs this technology, yet less than 1% of practices worldwide have it. Earlier detection is the key to saving lives from deadly oral cancer, and the VELscope technology is helping us do that.