• Dental Health
  • Patient Education
  • Problems & Treatments

What do British Columbians Know About Oral Cancer?

April is Oral Health Month and 123 Dentist clinics are doing their part to spread the word about oral health and one growing area of concern in particular. Oral cancer is on the rise in Canada thanks to an aging population, increases in HPV (Human Papillomavirus) and other factors. In 2013 over 4300 cases of oral cancer were reported to Statistics Canada and in 2015 the number is expected to grow.

Unlike other some other cancers, early detection for most types of oral cancer is KEY to surviving it. More often than not, cancer can be removed easily before it spreads. However, once it does reach to the jaw bone or throat, it becomes one of the most difficult cancers to treat successfully. That’s where VELscope Cancer Screening becomes essential. In a 5 minute check that involves no radiation, rinses or dyes, you can detect possible tumours before they become dangerous.

The technology is simple and works by shining a harmless purple light into your mouth. The light provokes a response in living tissue that is healthy and clear of cancer, while unhealthy or dead cells show up as dark areas, making them easy to identify. If any dark spots are found, they can be identified more closely by a specialist and steps can be taken to remove them before they spread.

On April 17th, 123 Dentist will offer FREE VELscope exams by donation to patients at participating 123 Dentist clinics. All funds raised will go to support cancer research in British Columbia and you can pre-book your appointment to guarantee a slot. Just talk to your local 123 Dentist clinic to find out more.

We wanted to let lower mainlanders know the importance of getting screened, show them how easy it is and find out what they know and don’t know about oral cancer. Here are just a few of the folks we talked to…

It’s not as easy as it looks to go on camera and let the 123 Dentist tooth fairy pick your brain about a serious subject, but these folks did just fine, considering they were put on the spot by our crew. If you’re honest with yourself, how many causes of Oral Cancer could you name? Or how many preventative tips could you think of?

The truth is, living a healthy life, brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist are all great preventative steps, but even so, age, sex and genetics play a role. Ultimately, no matter how healthy you are a check for oral cancer with a VELscope screening is well worth the 5 minutes. That’s why our video repeats how long it takes, because it’s so easy and so important to get checked!

What are you doing April 17th? Get a VELscope screening on your lunch break, chances are there’s a clinic near you, or if you get off early on Friday, come by before our offices close. With every reason to get checked and no barriers like cost in your way, what are you waiting for?!