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Dentists get a new weapon
Updated: 4/10/2008 8:00:35 AM

A new tool is aiding dentists in the fight against oral cancer.

The VELscope makes oral cancer screenings far more effective, as it allows dentists to detect suspicious changes deep under the surface, which cannot be felt or seen, CBS3.com reports.

Dr Jerold Wilck, a Langhorne-based dentist, told the news provider that the machine will reveal any changes as a dark patch, rather than the usual bright green colour.

With cases of oral cancer on the rise in the US, the VELscope could prove to be an indispensable tool.

Dr Wilck knows first-hand the importance of preventing the disease, as he was diagnosed with it three years ago.

He told CBS3.com that he had to have 30 lymph nodes removed from his neck and a two-centimetre radius of his tongue cut out.

"I thought, if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone," he added.

Dr Jim Arnold, writing in the Northwest Indiana and Illinois Times, recently urged smokers see their dentist regularly to be screened for oral cancer, as they are more likely to contract the disease and it can go undetected without frequent examinations.
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