Dr. Jolene Benham uses the Velscope to do an oral cancer exam. (submitted)

Duncan dentists offering free oral cancer exam

Alderlea Dental Health will be holding an Oral Cancer Screening Day in Duncan on April 13.

Two Duncan dentists are offering what could be a life-saving service.

Dr. Jolene Benham and Dr. Dale Benham of Alderlea Dental Health on Festubert Street are marking Oral Health Month with their own campaign to battle oral cancer.

Using Velscope, an oral cancer examination tool developed in Canada, Alderlea Dental Health will be holding an Oral Cancer Screening Day in Duncan on April 13.

“Oral cancer is a preventable and screenable cancer, yet continues to be diagnosed in later stages with very high mortality rates,” says Jolene.

The dental team will complete free oral cancer screenings for any area resident at the 11-301 Festubert St. location. The procedure takes only 20 minutes.

“Many have been touched by cancer in one form or another, and this has strengthened our resolve to host this event,” Jolene explains.

Approximately 25 per cent of the diagnoses are now in patients who do not smoke tobacco. A full 37 per cent of those diagnosed die within five years. However, when detected early, survival rates exceed 90 per cent over five years.

The Velscope, used in combination with the traditional head, neck, and oral tissue exam can lead to early detection. The federal government recommends annual oral cancer screening for all adults 25 years of age and older, regardless of tobacco usage.

“For this reason, Alderlea Dental Health is making this investment in time and technology to benefit our patients’ overall health,” Jolene says.

Alderlea Dental welcomes any area resident on April 13. The screening will be free for this Oral Cancer Awareness Day, however any donations will be gratefully forwarded to the BC Cancer Association.

If you are over 25, or have ever smoked tobacco products don’t miss this opportunity.

“This community event is Alderlea’s way of giving back to Duncan for the support we have experienced over the past 40 years, and is jointly sponsored with Velscope. Free oral hygiene kits will be provided to all who participate,” Jolene says.

People wishing to take advantage of this opportunity for a free oral examination are invited to drop into Alderlea Dental Health on April 13 between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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