The Comox Valley Dental Hygiene Society is hosting its second annual Free Oral Cancer Screening Clinic for the public, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Shoreline Orthodontics, 1530 Cliffe Ave.
Oral cancer is now the 13th most common type of cancer in Canada. Smoking, alcohol consumption, sun exposure to the lips, and HPV (human papillomavirus) are all known risk factors, most of which are preventable.
Oral cancer refers to cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. According to Canadian cancer statistics, approximately three people will die every day from oral cancer in Canada.
Oral Cancer is often not noticed in its early stages because it can develop without pain or symptoms. If the cancer is detected early, before it has spread to other tissues, the five-year survival rate may be as high as 90 per cent. Dental professionals are in a unique position to be at the frontline in detecting these types of cancers. When oral cancer is detected early, treatment can be very successful.
Who should get screened?
Everyone over the age of 15 should have an annual oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is no longer only a ‘smoker’s cancer’ found in an older population; in fact, oral cancers caused from smoking are on the decline because as a population, there are fewer smokers. However, the incidence of oral cancers caused by persistent HPV infections is increasing.If you have a concern about something in your mouth, book an appointment today. Being screened for oral cancer takes less than 15 minutes. It includes a head and neck exam which inspects/palpates (feels) the face, neck, collar bones and an examination inside the mouth inspecting the soft tissue, palate, and back of the throat. Local dental hygienists are ready to to do a screening for you on May 7.
Further information about oral cancer, HPV and smoking cessation will be provided at the screenings. To book an appointment time contact Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-334-0669. Drop-ins welcome.