VELscope Oral Cancer Screening in Jacksonville, FL
Oral cancer is responsible for approximately 7,300 deaths in the United States every year. Though oral cancer isn’t typically in the spotlight, approximately 37,000 men and women will be diagnosed in 2014 alone. Only half of patients diagnosed with oral cancer will survive longer than five years. Because it is often detected in the later stages, oral cancer’s mortality rate is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, brain, liver, kidney, or ovarian cancer. Traditional treatment for oral cancer often causes disfiguration and lessens the patient’s quality of life.
Thanks to an amazing new technology called VELscope, Dr. Wagner and his team can quickly and painlessly screen for lesions, pre-cancerous cells, and other signs of oral cancer. VELscope is a fluorescence-based identification system that detects tissue abnormalities and is used in combination with traditional visual exams.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ORAL CANCER SCREENING WITH VELSCOPE
All adults should have an annual VELscope exam because a quarter of oral cancer victims are non-smokers, don’t drink, and have no lifestyle factors to heighten their oral cancer risk. Men over 40 and women between the ages of 20 and 40 are the most prone to the disease. Patients with lifestyle risks, including any tobacco use, daily alcohol consumption, viral infections, autoimmune deficiencies like HIV, and diabetes may need more frequent evaluations.
The screening involves the use of a special light to illuminate abnormal cells so that they appear distinctly different from the surrounding normal tissue.
While the statistics on oral cancer are discouraging, when the disease is found and treated in the early stages it has an 80 to 90% cure rate. Like other forms of cancer, oral cancer is most successfully treated when detected and treated as early as possible. If caught in its latest stages, the chances of survival past the one year point are significantly diminished. Because we genuinely care about your health and your future, Dr. Wagner uses the VELScope on all new patient exams, and our standard of care involves one VELScope screening per year on a cleaning visit. Early detection literally saves lives!