Early detection with VELscope oral cancer screenings in Oakville
Oral cancer can be life-threatening, but when it is caught at the earliest stages, it is often treatable with a simple surgery. The dental team at Burloak Centre Dentistry offers oral cancer screenings using VELscope as part of your routine checkup so we can detect cancerous cells as soon as possible.
Signs and risk factors for oral cancer
Oral cancer describes a wide range of cancers in the mouth, throat, or jaw. Patients with oral cancer may have wounds on the lips or in the mouth that do not heal, white or red lesions, loose teeth, ear or mouth pain, and difficulty swallowing. However, many of the early signs of oral cancer can go undetected without regular screening.
Risk factors for oral cancer include smoking and other tobacco products, alcohol consumption, HPV, sun exposure, and genetic factors. Patients who have developed oral cancer previously are also at a heightened risk. While most oral cancers are diagnosed in patients over 50, more and more cases are found in younger patients, and there has been a significant increase in cases without traditional risk factors. Routine screenings, even at a young age, are crucial for protecting your health.
Benefits of VELscope
Oral cancer screenings can be easily completed during your routine hygiene visits. VELscope screenings take as little as two minutes to complete, and they significantly improve the dentist’s ability to detect abnormalities in the soft tissues of your mouth. This handheld device uses fluorescent light to excite the tissues in your mouth, highlighting abnormal tissues for easy detection. When combined with a traditional manual exam, your dentist can detect malignant cells before they have had the chance to spread to other parts of your body, making treatment much easier.
If your dentist detects something unusual, it is not always a cause for worry. They may recommend a biopsy or continue to monitor the area with symptoms. If we do find evidence of oral cancer, we will help you work with your health care provider to get prompt treatment. To learn more about oral cancer screenings and other preventative care, contact our office in Oakville today at 905.581.4436.