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Oral cancer screening provides our Etobicoke patients with distinct advantages

Of the numerous different types of cancer, oral cancer is one that often flies below the radar. Statistics show, however, that more deaths occur from oral cancer each year than from cervical cancer, testicular cancer, and brain cancer. Thousands of people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, with only a little more than half of them given a prognosis of greater than five years. Still, there is very little public knowledge about this concerning condition.

A misconception about oral cancer is that this disease is a direct result of alcohol or tobacco use. Abstaining from these substances may afford you some protection, but no guarantee. One-quarter of new diagnosis occur in patients who neither smoke nor drink.

How can you protect yourself from oral cancer?

The best form of protection against oral cancer is to undergo screening as recommended by your trusted dentist. At sherway dentistry in Etobicoke, we are proud to perform screenings with advanced technology rather than manual and visual examination alone. Incorporating VELscope® into our screening process is in line with our standard of excellence in patient care.

How VELscope® works

This blue-light lamp is based on fluorescence. Abnormal tissues are "excited" by the wavelength of blue light used in this device and therefore become visible (as dark spots) during examination where they otherwise would not. VELscope® can show us cancerous cells as well as precancerous cells for the earliest possible detection of abnormal activity.

Advantages to our VELscope® system include:
  • Examination is quick and comfortable
  • FDA-approved device detects abnormalities that would otherwise not be seen
  • Early identification of precancerous and cancerous cells
  • Can be used as a follow up to oral cancer treatment to confirm normal cell activity
Oral cancer screenings with VELscope® take less than five minutes in most cases. The non-invasive procedure works by shining light onto oral tissues including the cheeks, gums, and tongue. Fluorescence is one part of the oral cancer screening, complementing the manual examination of the tongue, palate, cheeks, glands, and teeth. After this initial examination, the patient swishes a pre-rinse in the mouth for several seconds. Special eyewear is provided to protect the eyes from blue light. As light is applied to oral tissues, the dentist looks closely for areas of darkness. Should abnormality be identified, the appropriate course of action will be discussed.

The VELscope® oral cancer screening is not designed only for the smoker. Every person can benefit from undergoing an oral cancer screening on a yearly basis. If you live in the Etobicoke or Mississauga area, call 416.639.2546 to schedule your screening today.

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