Better screening saves lives.®
According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer affects more than 35,000 people in the United States each year. Don't let yourself be one of them.
ViziLite® Plus is a simple screening system that was developed to help oral healthcare professionals identify and evaluate abnormalities in your mouth. These may include suspicious oral lesions, precancerous cells, and cancer, which may be difficult to see during a regular visual exam. When oral cancer is found early, treatment is less invasive and outcomes are far better. Early detection of oral cancer can help save your life.
How it Works
The ViziLite® Plus exam is completely painless and only takes a few minutes. Using a specially formulated mouthwash which makes cell abnormalities more prominent and an illuminating, low intensity light source, your dentist or hygienist will be able to see any irregularities in your lips, mouth, tongue, and throat that may have been missed under normal incandescent light. If a suspicious lesion is detected, your healthcare professional will mark the area with our non-toxic TBlue® dye and document it in your records. If necessary, you may be asked to return for a follow-up appointment to monitor any changes in the growth or referred to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. The earlier any abnormality is detected, the sooner you can receive treatment.
Are You at Risk for Oral Cancer?
There are several risk factors for oral cancer, some preventable, some not. Keep in mind that 25% of oral cancer patients have no risk factors at all.
- Any tobacco use, such as cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco
- Excessive or heavy drinking
- Family history of oral cancer
- Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV)
The single most important way to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer is to reduce the risk factors. Stop using tobacco and evaluate your alcohol consumption. If you use tobacco, drink heavily, or are over the age of 40, ask your dentist to evaluate your oral health with a visual exam and the ViziLite® Plus oral cancer screening system.
VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System
More than 480,000 new cases of oral and throat cancers are diagnosed each year, and over 35,000 of those cases are right here in the United States. Oral cancer kills one person every hour in the U.S., and without proper detection methods, a person may have oral cancer and not even know it. In almost all cases of oral cancer, early detection plays a major role in a patient's chances of survival. By diagnosing and treating oral cancer early, a patient's five year survival rate is 80-90% greater.
Risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Frequent use of tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco)
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Genetics (a family history of oral cancer or any type of cancer)
- Excessive exposure to the sun at a young age
While men above the age of 50 are typically at the most risk for oral cancer, there has been a recent increase in the number of women with oral cancer due to a connection between oral cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV-16).
How VELscope works
The VELscope screening system consists of a specialized white light source and viewing scope that make it easier for your doctor to look closely at the tissues inside your mouth. Normal tissues will almost glow a bright green color. Abnormal tissue shows up much darker under the special light.
An abnormal screening does not always mean that the patient has cancer. If an abnormal screening occurs, your doctor may schedule a second scan later to see if the dark spots disappear, or may choose to perform a gentle, non-invasive brush biopsy to make sure it's not cancer.