VELSCOPE is a revolutionary hand-held device that offers dentists and hygienists an easy-to-use adjunctive screening instrument for early detection of soft tissue abnormalities. Its technology platform is based on the direct visualization of tissue fluorescence and the changes in fluorescence that result when abnormal tissue is present. This change is detected by the operator viewing the tissues through a special scope. These changes are not evident under incandescent light.

Developed in British Columbia by scientists from the BC Cancer Agency and the UBC School of Dentistry, the Velscope is now recognised world wide as a major advance in the detection of oral cancer. VELSCOPE provides a more effective oral cancer screening protocol with immediate benefits for the patient and the clinician.

Oral cancer refers to cancer of the soft tissues of the lips, mouth, and throat.

Oral cancer generally has a poor prognosis, most likely because early diagnosis is difficult, and problems are usually picked up in the disease’s later stages.

• One person dies from oral cancer every hour in North America.
• 31000 cases are diagnosed in North America every year. There are 9700 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in North America every year.
• Oral cancer is the 6th most serious form of cancer.
• The mortality rate of oral cancer is twice that of cervical cancer.
• There has been a 60% increase in incidence in under 40’s in the last 3 decades.
• 25% of cases don’t fit the recognised profile of over 40’s, smoking and alcohol
• Oral cancer is 90% curable if caught in the early stages

Early diagnosis is the key to a successful outcome. With early treatment the long term prognosis is greatly improved. Although we have done routine visual exams as part of your check up appointments in the past, we have been limited to only seeing tissue changes once they have reached and affected the surface.

In line with our policy and to fulfill your expectations of comprehensive care, we have now incorporated tissue fluorescence diagnostic technology into our practice. It is my strong belief that in order to ensure your tissues are in a healthy state we need to move beyond what the eye can see to what the eye can not see. This technology allows us to become aware of potential soft tissue problems in the early stages, allows us to come to an earlier diagnosis which in turn would lead to earlier treatment and a better and more positive outcome.

Our West Vancouver dentist, Dr. Rodney Shainbom, offers this groundbreaking technology to our patients here at Dentistry-on-Bellevue! The same way that bitewing x-rays revolutionized the early detection and treatment of dental caries, so will the Velscope help in early detection of oral cancer.