There are a variety of screening devices that may assist dentists in detecting oral cancer, including the Velscope. This portable machine. which was developed at the BC Cancer Institute and is a prototype to those units with eventual use in lung and cervical detection.
The Velscope shines a blue light into the oral cavity and floresces any irregular tissue. It is a prelimanary step in cancer detection but a biopsy is the reccommendation for complete diagnosis. The Velscope can however ease tension by eliminating the need for biopsy when a lesion is clinically discovered but determined as non-cancerous with this pre-screening method.
Qualicum Beach has an older population where a higher percentage of oral cancers may be discovered. We have had the Velscope in our office for the past three years and is used regularly when questionable lesions are discovered, usually at regular check up exams.