VELscope Enhanced Oral Assessment System

oral cancer

VELscope Enhanced Oral Assessment System

VELscope Enhanced Oral Assessment System availability at Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital & Research Institute

The VELscope Enhanced Oral Assessment System is a revolutionary medical technology that has been globally recognized for its significant contribution to addressing oral health concerns. The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged its importance in 2009. Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital & Research Institute proudly embraces the latest model of VELscope technology, positioning itself at the forefront of cutting-edge medical innovation.

This advanced system harnesses the power of natural tissue fluorescence to revolutionize the way our experienced oncologists examine the oral mucosa. It plays a pivotal role in the

early detection of cancers within the oral cavity. By enhancing the visualization of tissues, VELscope technology empowers healthcare professionals to identify abnormalities and potential health risks at an early stage, thus greatly improving patient outcomes.

VELscope enhancementEarly Detection Matters

The importance of early detection cannot be overstated when it comes to oral cancer. Statistics reveal that when oral cancer is identified in its early stages, patients have an excellent chance of survival, with a 5-year relative survival rate exceeding 85%. However, if the disease is discovered in its advanced stages, this rate drops significantly to only about 40%. Hence, early detection through technologies like VELscope is paramount in improving patients’ chances of a full recovery.

Understanding Oral Cancer

Oral cancer, encompassing both oral and oropharyngeal cancers, refers to malignancies that can form in various areas within the oral cavity. These include the mouth, lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, hard palate, tonsils, and throat. Early detection of cancerous or precancerous lesions in any of these regions is crucial for effective treatment.

The Silent Threat

oral cancer screening

One of the most concerning aspects of oral cancer is its silent progression. In many cases, it remains undetected until it has reached advanced stages. At this point, it may have spread regionally to lymph nodes in the neck or, even worse, to distant locations in the body, such as the lungs. Late-stage diagnoses significantly reduce survival rates. This highlights the urgency of regular oral screenings, as they can literally save lives.

Comprehensive Oral Exam (COE)

A Comprehensive Oral Exam, also known as an intra and extra-oral head and neck examination, is a thorough assessment performed by a clinical practitioner. During this examination, the healthcare provider checks for anything unusual in the head and neck region, including asymmetry or abnormal lumps. Inside the oral cavity, both visual assessment and palpation are used to identify potential issues. This examination also serves as a vital screening tool for oral cancer and precancerous conditions.

Enhanced Oral Screening

Following the Comprehensive Oral Exam, your dentist takes oral health assessment a step further by utilizing VELscope technology. This cutting-edge 

system emits specific wavelengths of blue spectrum light into the oral cavity. This light stimulates natural tissue fluorescence, which can be directly observed through the VELscope. Extensive research has demonstrated that VELscope can identify abnormal tissue that may not be visible to the naked eye.


Finding an Abnormality

Discovering something unusual during the VELscope screening does not necessarily indicate the presence of oral cancer. Various oral conditions and factors can lead to abnormalities in the oral mucosa, many of which are unrelated to cancer. Therefore, if your dentist identifies an area that requires further investigation, there is no need for immediate panic. Some conditions may resolve on their own, while others may require intervention by a healthcare provider. In such cases, you may be asked to return for a follow-up examination to reassess the area. Occasionally, your dentist may refer you to a specialist for a biopsy, which is the gold standard for diagnosing abnormal tissue conditions.


VELscope technology represents a groundbreaking advancement in oral healthcare. Its ability to detect abnormalities at an early stage provides healthcare professionals with a crucial tool in the fight against oral cancer. While the discovery of an abnormality during screening may be concerning, it is important to remember that not all such findings indicate cancer. Regular oral screenings, including those using VELscope technology, are a critical component of maintaining optimal oral health and improving early detection of potential issues, thereby enhancing patients’ overall well-being.



Written by

Dr. Ramya Reddy
Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Visakhapatnam