I have taken 2 courses in the early detection of oral cancer. In one of these courses, the lecturer made a strong case for using the VELscope to detect oral cancer at such an early stage that no other signs were apparent, other than the characteristic appearance under the VELscope. He presented numerous cases of early detection confirmed by biopsy. In another course, taught by an oral surgeon, the emphasis was on visual inspection and referral for biopsy when needed. He felt the VELscope was not reliable. What is the experience of the readers who are VELscope users? What about other technologies, such as OralCDx, for the early detection of oral cancer? Are these technologies reliable and useful? Thanks.
According to the VELscope:
“VELscope is a revolutionary hand-held device that provides dentists and hygienists with an easy-to-use adjunctive mucosal examination system for the early detection of abnormal tissue. It is based on the direct visualization of tissue fluorescence and the changes in fluorescence that occur when abnormalities are present.
The VELscope Handpiece emits a safe blue light into the oral cavity, which excites the tissue from the surface of the epithelium through to the basement membrane (where premalignant changes typically start) and into the stroma beneath, causing it to fluoresce. The clinician is then able to immediately view the different fluorescence responses to help differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue. In fact, VELscope is the only non-invasive adjunctive device clinically proven to help discover occult oral disease.”