We have beeen remembering all year!

Our VELscope for Vets campaign has been going strong so far in 2016.  In the first quarter of the year we donated over $600 to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.  If you are not aware, our office is donating 20% of our fees for our cancer screening VELscope exams to this veteran’s facility.  We chose to do this to raise awareness of oral cancer and the need for early diagnosis.

There will be over 45,000 Americans diagnosed with some type of oral cancer this year. In that time, over 8500 people will die from oral cancer.  That is roughly one person every hour of every day.  Over 40% of those people who are diagnosed with oral cancer will not survive 5 years.  This mortality rate is higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes and thyroid cancer.  The reason for this high death rate is because oral cancer is routinely discovered late in its development, often after it has metastasized to another location.

In its early stages, oral cancer may not be noticed by the patient. It frequently prospers without producing pain or recognizable symptoms.  It also develops in areas that are not easily observed like the back of the tongue, floor of the mouth, tonsils and throat.

Dentists and hygienists are trained to look for and detect oral cancers. At our office this exam is done at every hygiene visit.  While the dental profession does a great job of cancer screening, the high mortality rates continue.  Recently there has been an introduction of several cancer screening devices.  Our research found VELscope to be the best device for our office.

VELscope uses ultraviolet light frequencies to make abnormal tissue look darker than normal tissue. This darker tissue is often below the surface and cannot be seen with the naked eye.  This dark tissue can then be examined and follow-up testing can be done if needed.  All of our new patient exams now include a VELscope exam.  Existing patients are offered an optional exam yearly.  The cost is minimal and the peace of mind is enormous.

As adults we all go through routine cancer screening tests like mammograms, pap smears and prostate exams. Please consider having a VELscope exam yearly.  It may save your life!

And, if you start this year, a veteran will benefit.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Bruce