Something everyone should know about cancer of the oral mucosa
According to MUDr. Petr Chalupa, our lead stomatologists, there are over 2000 new cases of the disease diagnosed in the Czech Republic each year. Unfortunately, less than 50% of patients suffering from this illness survive past the five year mark. Early detection of the disease however increases the chances for survival from 50% to nearly 90% in the following five years. The occurrence of cancer of the oral mucosa is 2x higher than the occurrence of the cancer of the cervix. However, the situation is such that much less attention is generally paid to preventative measures. One of the possible culprits is the existence of the HPV virus. The most vulnerable group of patients are women between the age of 25 and 40.
A little bit more about the VELscope
VELscope offers dentists an easy-to-use and supportive treatment tool for early identification of abnormalities in the oral mucosa. Aside from the detection of the cancer cells in the oral cavity, the device is capable of identifying precancerous states as well as other mucosa abnormalities, be they viral, fungal or bacterial infections. The patented device has been developed by the Canadian company LED Dental in cooperation with the world-renowned British Columbia Cancer Agency.
How does the device work?
The technology is based on a simple principle. An unhealthy mucosa reflects certain frequencies of light differently than the surrounding tissue. VELscope emits (radiates) harmless blue light (400-460 nm wavelength), which is aimed at a certain part of the oral mucosa. The light results in the fluorescence of the epithelium, then through the basal membrane into the submucosal connective tissue, where collagen fibers react fluorescently. Through special optical filters within the hand-held device, the doctor can immediately see any changes of the oral mucosa, helping him/her in identifying abnormal cell activity and growth.
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