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Oral Cancer Screening and VELscope at Vancouver’s Arbutus North Dental Centre

Regular screening for the early signs of oral cancer is critically important to avoid serious, life-threatening consequences down the road — and this is especially true for smokers. In fact, the 5-year survival rate for oral cancer increases from over 80% from 52% when it’s detected early.


Step One: Visual Screening

At Arbutus North Dental Centre, we perform a “white light” exam to carefully look for signs of oral cancer, such as lesions. We also use palpation to detect any bumps in the neck or face area. The procedure takes only a couple of minutes, and is comfortable and pain-free.


Step Two: VELscope Exam

After examinating your mouth, neck and face area, we use the VELscope handpiece to illuminate any abnormalities in the oral tissue area using a blue light. VELscope technology is innovative, safe, and remarkably effective. It’s also comfortable and fast, with the procedure taking only a few minutes.


Step Three: Surgical Biopsy
(if necessary)

If our examination uncovers anything of concern, the next step is a surgical biopsy, where an oral pathologist diagnoses the tissue. Please don’t be alarmed by the term “surgery.” Quite often, if the oral pathologist finds anything that needs to be taken care it will be “pre-cancerous” or a less serious abnormality.


Contact us to Learn More

We’re here to answer your oral cancer questions thoroughly and clearly. We’re also here to help you understand our examination procedures, and the modern technology that we use to help keep you safe. Contact us to ask any questions, or to book an appointment.