Our patients come first.
And that has never been truer than it is right now.
Dr. Civin cares about your health – so much so that we have obtained a state of the art VELscope in order to detect oral cancer.
You might be wondering: just what is a VELscope, and how does it work?
For the past few years, you have undoubtedly noticed the doctor checking you for oral cancer. It’s always a quick procedure. You open wide, he looks inside, and he might ask you to turn your head, open wider, or even stick out your tongue. But now there’s a better way.
The VELscope is a non-invasive oral cancer screening device. It looks a lot like a standard household flashlight, even when sitting in its charging cradle. However, instead of emitting regular full-spectrum light, it emits a safe, visible blue light. This excites your oral tissue and causes it to fluoresce. Then the device filters out reflected light. This allows Dr. Civin to see tissue fluorescence. To him, it appears green. And that tells him that there could potentially be a problem.
The device makes it easy for the doctor to spot cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions. In particular, it helps him to see spots that might otherwise have been missed.
You’ll be given eye protection, and the doctor will ask you to open wide. And then just lie back as Dr. Civin has the device emit a beam into your opened mouth. He will look into the other end and into an eyepiece and he will determine if he sees anything of concern. And then, of course, you’ll be told if there are any findings, and you will be informed as to what your treatment options are. Often, surgical excision is the preferred treatment.
Both Dentistry Today, and even the World Health Organization, has given awards to the VELscope. It is a world-wide recognized innovative oral cancer detection system.
The VELscope does not, however, replace a comprehensive oral examination. Rather, it enhances and supplements such an examination.
And you may also be wondering: is all this early detection worth it? Does it really matter?
It most certainly does. When it is discovered early, the five-year survival rate for oral cancers is just about 83%! However, when discovery is delayed, the five-year survival rate for oral cancers drops to one-half, and maybe even less than that.
Oral cancers can occur in anyone, but known risk factors are not just smoking or using chewing tobacco. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16) is now considered to be a risk factor. And so are a compromised immune system and frequent or excessive alcohol use. Furthermore, as always, a history of cancer is a risk factor unto itself. At no time in history, until now, has there been such a call for early oral cancer screenings.
So book an appointment at Mark L. Civin DDS and get your cancer screening soon. Because the life you save may very well turn out to be a loved one’s. Or even your own.