CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- In this Eye On Health report, we look at the latest technology when it comes to detecting oral cancer.
"Velescope is an early detection cancer system, uses a light and shines in the mouth will detect cancer lesions early," says Dr. Mark McOmie says. He notes that it's one of the best weapons in the fight against oral cancer.
He explains how it works. "What you are seeing here is where we are using the velescope to illuminate the oral cavity and we are looking for irregularities in the tissues and something that doesn't look normal.
This non-invasive exam with the velescope only takes two minutes and it could save your life. Most dentists now include it as part of a routine visit when you get your teeth cleaned.. If you're not sure check with your dentist.
While 30 percent of people with oral cancer have no risks, Dr. McOmie says 70 percent of cases come from high risk individuals. "If you're a tobacco user, heavy alcohol user, you're at an increased risk, 70% of oral cancers are found on high risk individuals."
Most cases of oral cancer are discovered on the side of the tongue in the back of your molars If found in the early stages the survival rate is 85%, but if its reached stages 3 or 4 that drops down to just 30%
If you see something irregular that doesn't go away in about two weeks, go see the doctor.