“Hello. My first topic this year is Oral Cancer — a disease that unfortunately has been featured too-often in recent news. Oral Cancer is rapidly increasing in the US, especially in our younger population. I understand the growing public concern, for the consequences of suffering from Oral Cancer can be quite devastating. You can survive this type of cancer, however, without early detection, you will be left with a scar that will not allow you to forget it.
The signs and symptoms of Oral Cancer often cannot be seen by the naked eye. For this reason, I have acquired new equipment in my practice, that will help me to detect suspicious lesions in the oral mucosa. This new Identafi® Oral Cancer Screening Device is a wan light which uses 3 different types of light waves to excite oral tissue in a distinct and unique way.
Through the use of fluorescence and reflectance, these different light waves will excite the tissue to allow me to observe biochemical and morphological changes. The fluorescence, violet light, allows me to see biochemical changes while morphological changes can be monitored with reflectance, amber light. With the use of filtered glasses, my ability to see these changes is enhanced.
The violet light allows your normal tissue to show its natural fluorescence, which causes lesions or suspicious tissue to appear dark (due to its loss of fluorescence). If suspicious abnormalities are present, I will be able to see the morphology of the vasculature by switching the light to amber light. Healthy tissue usually has an organized pattern of the circulation around it, while abnormal tissue will show a diffused and irregular pattern.
This device will allow me to detect any suspicious changes in the cells of the mouth, throat, tongue, and tonsils that may potentially lead to Oral Cancer. It will provide my patients with a more comprehensive and accurate oral exam (as compared to a direct visual exam alone), and provide assurance for recommending biopsies.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Oral Cancer this year and it will cause over 8,000 deaths. Oral Cancer is not hard to detect, but it is usually diagnosed too late, when it is in its advanced stages.
Serious health conditions can affect all of us. I truly care for the health and well-being of each and every one of my patients – so if I can help in any way to prevent or treat Oral Cancer early, I will reach for the tools that are available to do it”.
Dr. Estela DeCastecker
For more information regarding Identafi®, Oral Cancer screening or to schedule an appointment,
Please call our office today.