Oral Cancer Screening

Uploaded Image: /uploads/images/oral_cancer_screening_columbia_county_ny.jpgIn the United States, oral cancer claims the life of someone every hour. Oral cancer is the only cancer that has not shown a decrease in mortality rate in over the past 30 years. This is why early detection is so important. In fact, if oral cancer is detected early enough, the five-year survival rate could be as high as 80 percent, reports the National Institutes of Health.

At Kinderhook Family Dental, we understand the necessity of early cancer detection. This is why we use the Velscope oral cancer screening.

Velscope is an oral cancer detection device, where a light is shined in your mouth that exposes any suspicious tissue inside your mouth.  By detecting pre-cancerous lesions early, the Velscope can help save thousands of lives. Velscope works by emitting a cone of blue light into your mouth. This light reacts with molecules in your cells and causes them to absorb the light energy and re-emit them as a fluorescent glow.

There are special optical filters in the instrument's hand piece that allows Dr. Starkman and his team to see the different fluorescent patterns. In doing this, we can determine which cells are normal and which are abnormal. Healthy tissue will give a green glow and suspicious tissue has a loss of fluorescence that will cause it to appear darker. This exam takes about three minutes and can make a dramatic difference in your oral health.