Recently, we had a Twitter follower ask us what the latest methods of detecting oral cancer are. With Twitter’s allowances of only 140 characters to answer the question, we decided to post a blog that gives a more in depth look at the state of oral cancer detection devices.
The main oral cancer detection devices that are on the market today are:
- Brush biopsy – “The OralCDx® BrushTest®is an easy, painless and definitive way for dentists to test the common small white and red oral spots that most people have in their mouth at one time or another. The BrushTest is used to determine if a common oral spot contains abnormal cells (known as dysplasia) that, if left alone for several years, may develop into oral cancer.”
- ViziLite Plus, MicroLux DL – A light technology that “in combination with a regular visual examination, provides a comprehensive oral screening procedure for patients at increased risk for oral cancer.”
- Velscope - “The ‘white light’ exam. The VELscope exam is actually the second step in a comprehensive oral cancer exam. The first step is a conventional ‘white light’ exam in which the dentist or hygienist looks for lesions in the oral cavity with the naked eye and uses palpation to feel for any bumps in the neck or face.”
- Trimira OCS 3000 – Trimira’s®, new Identafi® 3000 ultra uses the Identafi® Multi-Spectral Fluorescence and Reflectance technology to enhance visualization of mucosal abnormalities such as oral cancer or premalignant dysplasia that may not be apparent to the naked eye. But unlike other fluorescence technologies and dye systems, the Identafi® 3000 ultra is Multi-Spectral with three distinct color wavelengths, making it easier to distinguish lesion morphology and vasculature thereby reducing false positives.
The oral cancer detection devices mentioned above are only tools for screening and are not designed to diagnose oral cancer. They result false negatives if not used appropriately. The ideal screening is a conventional visual oral tactile exam at the dental office first.
Visiting a pathologist in suspicious cases is highly recommended. A second opinion can save you a lifetime. Do not wait and watch the cancer grow in your mouth.
Together we fight oral cancer. Together we save a life every hour.