Screening for oral and pharyngeal cancers is very important in our office. The American Cancer Society estimates about 50,000 people in the US will receive an oral cancer diagnosis each year. Oral cancer can occur on the lips, inside of the mouth, the tongue, soft tissues of the mouth, back of the throat, esophagus, and salivary glands. The cancerous tumors may appear as discolorations, lumps, white patches, or just a series of supporting symptoms such as numbness, unexplained bleeding, inability for sores to heal, pain, and even unexplained weight loss.
This particular type of cancer is known to have a higher death rate since most cases are not discovered until later stages of development. While 75% of sufferers have a history of smoking or alcohol consumption, 25% do not, making this type of cancer harder to predict. HPV virus has recently been connected to an increasing percentage of oral cancer diagnoses. To catch as early as possible, Dr. Bynum stresses the importance of oral cancer screenings to every patient and screen all of our patients at least once a year.
By using the VELscope VX, we can identify oral disease early, while it’s still easy to treat. By using the blue light that the VELscope stimulates, we can see disease not visible with the naked eye. This helps us discover oral disease before it can be seen under ordinary light.
To learn more about how this technology works, below is a video showing the difference between a visual screening and the VELscope VX. In the video you can see how the VELscope VX can better detect cancerous or abnormalities that may be hidden from the naked eye.