Document Type : Research Article
Oral cancer is a global health disease that has a major impact on an individual''s health, psychology and lifestyle. It is the 6th most common cancer in the world and has a high prevalence worldwide, and is found more in men than women. It is attributed to a myriad of causes which especially include tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption and chewing betel quid. Survival rates of oral cancer are very poor despite advances in therapeutic interventions. Detecting oral cancer at an early stage is believed to be the most effective means of reducing death rates. Thus arises the need for an important diagnostic tool which is able to detect pre-malignant and malignant lesions at an early stage. Treatment helps only for about 5 years after which recurrences are seen. The only way to reduce recurrences is early diagnosis. VELscope, also known as Visually-Enhanced Lesion scope, serves this purpose. It is an important diagnostic tool that uses an auto- fluorescence based imaging system to detect lesions and allows enhanced visibility of the premalignant and malignant lesions. It emits a harmless, non-invasive blue coloured LED fibre optic light that shines in the patient’s mouth. The fluorescent light is absorbed by normal tissues whereas neoplastic lesions lose fluorescence and become dark. This helps in quick and non-invasive diagnosis.