In Canada, oral cancer is number 13 on the list of most common cancers1. In one year, it is estimated that there will be approximately 3400 new cases of oral cancer1. So what can you do to help protect yourself?
- Consider removing known risks for oral cancer, such as smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Early detection is key! Do an at-home monthly check of your own mouth to look for changes, if there are any changes that you notice which are not healed or back to normal within 2 weeks, see your dentist.
- Come for regular dental visits, where we can check for signs of possible changes to the oral tissues through an oral cancer screening exam, including the use of the VELscope.
The VELscope is a tool, which was developed in part by the University of British Columbia and the BC Cancer Agency. It is designed to help detect possible changes to the tissues of your mouth. It uses a specific wavelength of fluorescent light, which excites the cells and causes them to appear various shades of bright green when they are healthy. Unhealthy cells or abnormal tissues in the mouth appear as a dark area within all the bright green. The VELscope can help to detect cancer early, before we can see it with our eyes alone.2 At Okanagan Smiles Dentistry in Kelowna, we are proud to say that we do yearly oral cancer screenings, including the VELscope, for all of our clients.
1. Healthy Living: Oral Cancer. 2009. Available from: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/oral-bucco/disease-maladie/cancer-eng.php
2. VELscope Dental Professionals website. http://www.velscope.com/default.aspx?id=0&cat=professionals
Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!
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