Oral Cancer Examination

The Two-Minute Exam That Could Save Your Life

VELscope system

Current Statistics

There were over 34,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancer diagnosed last year in the United States. Tobacco use, both non-smoking and smoking is associated with 75% of all cases. People who drink alcohol are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than people who do not drink alcohol. This HPV virus, when present in the oral tissues, results in an increased rick even if the person does not use alcohol or tobacco.

Early Detection is KEY !

What to Look For

  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A color change of the oral tissues
  • A lump, thickening or rough spot on the tissue
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving the tongue
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • A feeling that something is caught in the throat

More Facts…

  • Oral cancer is more common that leukemia, skin melanoma, Hodgkin’s disease and cancers of the brain, liver, bone, thyroid gland, stomach, ovaries and cervix.
  • It is typically, but not necessarily, caused by long term use of tobacco products and alcohol.

Here at Chemung Family Dental Center, we feel one of the most important parts of your regular check up is a thorough oral cancer screening. We are pleased to offer Velscope. This is an early detection test that can be done at your regular appointment.

The Velscope oral cancer exam is quick, easy and painless. It is part of our ongoing efforts to keep you in the very best dental health.

Oral Cancer - Velscope


One of the VELscope system’s most important tasks is to help identify areas that might, if not identified and treated, progress to oral cancer. The statistics below, from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER Database, 1999-2006, are a compelling argument for regular VELscope exams:

  • Found early, while still Localized (confined to the primary site), oral cancer’s five-year survival rate is good: about 83%. Only 33% of all oral cancer discoveries fall into this category.
  • Found while Regional (progressed to regional lymph nodes) the five-year survival rate drops significantly, to about 55%. Approximately 46% of all oral cancer discoveries are Regional.
  • Found late, oral cancer’s five-year survival rate is poor: approximately 32%. This accounts for approximately 14% of all oral cancer findings.

Clearly, finding oral cancer in its early stages is key to survival. The VELscope Vx offers hope for the early discovery of oral precancers and cancers, by providing your dentist or hygienist with visual information that may not be apparent under ordinary light.

For more information on oral cancer, please visit the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Oral Disease
Oral disease can have serious repercussions for both physical and psychological health. Oral-facial pain can be crippling, interfering with such basic activities as chewing, swallowing, talking, working, and sleeping. Conditions that change or distort our facial features can make us feel less attractive, leading to social withdrawal and depression.

The VELscope system has been developed to help dental professionals discover a wide variety of oral abnormalities, including oral precancer and cancer. By shining VELscope’s safe blue light in a patient’s oral cavity, a dentist is able to distinguish between normal and abnormal tissue. That helps in the quest to find oral disease, even if it’s invisible under ordinary light.

  Should you have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to call us
at 607-734-2045 or click to contact us directly.

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