Drs. Brunner and Lazerson use the VELSCOPE technology to detect cancer that is early in its development. This technology allows for early detection and early treatment leading to a more successful outcome. We have had several patients that have been diagnosed and treated for oral cancer in our office using the VELSCOPE. We recommend an oral cancer screening for any patient over 40 and all patients who smoke.
In a healthy patient, the inside of the mouth is lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness. Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us immediately if you notice any of the above signs at (770) 321-0257.