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Oral screenings offered at London Drugs

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RICHMOND, British Columbia — In an effort to raise awareness about oral cancer, London Drugs began offering oral screening clinics at 15 stores in greater Vancouver, British Columbia.

The screenings — held between April 25 and May 18 — follow a successful oral cancer screening pilot program that the company began in April 2015.

During the screenings, dental professionals conduct a head and neck exam and an intra-oral assessment using the LED Dental VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System to help detect oral tissue abnormalities. The VELscope uses a blue spectrum light to fluoresce the oral mucosa and detect tissues that aren’t apparent or visible to the naked eye, aiding in the early identification of lesions at risk for oral pre-cancer.

Patients enrolling in the oral health screening fill out an evaluation form that asks about their tobacco use, among other questions. Once the screening is completed, patients receive an evaluation summary and, if atypical issues are found, patients are recommended to visit a Next Gen Oral Prevention and Screening Community Clinic, which arose from the British Columbia Oral Cancer Prevention Program.

“What began as a three-clinic trial with a dental professional in collaboration with our pharmacists in April 2015 quickly grew to 12 clinics in a matter of weeks during our first-ever attempt at this program,” John Tse, vice president pharmacy at London Drugs, said in a statement. “There is clearly demand for the oral screening and continued need for awareness of oral cancer and oral cancer ­prevention.”

“London Drugs’ clinics bring incredible awareness to oral cancer screening and the importance of early detection,” stated dentist Ken Neuman, who is a member of the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry and is listed as one of the top 100 most influential dental educators in North America.

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