Our team at Landmark Dental Centre are not only dedicated to your smile, but we’re also dedicated to your overall health. We take a holistic approach to your dental care, which includes an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular exam. Like other kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. We have the skills and tools to identify early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer.
Why Do I Need An Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer often goes unnoticed in its early stages as it may present without pain or symptoms. According to Canadian Cancer Statistics, approximately 3 people will die each day from oral cancers (mouth, lips, tongue, and throat) in Canada. If the cancer is detected early enough and before it has spread to other tissues, the 5-year survival rate is almost 90%.
While those who smoke or use tobacco products are at a higher risk, the fastest-growing population of oral cancer patients are young, non-smoking, healthy male and female patients who have been exposed to certain strains of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). An oral soft tissue examination is simple, painless and only takes a few minutes. Just as a yearly physical is an important part of your health care, a yearly oral cancer check is essential for providing early detection.
What Is An Oral Cancer Screening and Who Does It?
At Landmark Dental Centre we are fortunate to have a team trained and experienced in the use of auto-fluorescence or VELscope. It is with this advanced technology, along with a tactical examination of your head and neck by your dentist and dental hygienist, that we are able to screen for any signs of oral cancer in your mouth. As with many technologies, it is only as good as the knowledge of those using it. Dr. Brent Corlazzoli and his associates, Dr. Amanda Resener, Dr. Brent Parkins, and Dr. Angelyn Salaberry are all highly trained in the use of VELscope and in the performance of oral cancer screenings. In fact, Dr. Salaberry is one of three dentists trained in Oral Oncology (cancer) working locally at SAHCSI. She also works with the team of Specialists at the Vancouver BC Cancer Agency who developed & continue to do research on the surgical implementation of this important technology.
Signs & Symptoms
One of the real dangers of oral cancer is that in its early stages, it can easily go unnoticed due to little to no discomfort or obvious physical changes. While your dentist and dental hygienist will conduct a thorough head, neck and mouth exam during your regular checkup and cleaning, it is suggested to include a monthly at-home check of your mouth as part of your hygiene routine.