Early Oral Cancer Diagnosis Can Double Your Chances of Survival – Dentist West Kelowna Explains

oral cancer diganosis double survival rates

April is observed by all dental professionals in Canada as Oral Hygiene Month. We want to focus this April to raising prevention awareness of oral cancer, while encouraging the practice of prevention and early detection.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, one person dies every hour from oral cancer. And only 60% of people diagnosed with oral cancer will still be alive in the next five years. A high percentage of these deaths could be prevented if the cancer is detected early on.

That’s why throughout the month of April, we’re encouraging our patients to think about the early detection and  the prevention of oral cancer.

Why Oral Cancer Is a Particularly Deadly Form of Cancer

oral cancer diagnosis double survival rates

Another alarming statistic: American Cancer Society estimates that over 51,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Of those, over 10,000 will die from oral and oropharyngeal cancers. And as we mentioned above, once diagnosed, the five year survival rate is around 60%.

Why are so many people susceptible to these types of cancer? And how fast does oral cancer spread?

Based on the numbers, you might assume that oral cancer is a particularly fast-growing, aggressive form of cancer. Or, maybe the issue is that it’s difficult to diagnose.

Catching the cancer early can greatly improve the patient’s survival rate. If the cancer hasn’t spread, the survival rate is over 80%.

The truth is that it depends on the cellular makeup, or type of, cancer. Some cancers do, indeed, grow faster than others.

However, the issue is not so much how fast the cancer grows as it is that cancer is often discovered late in its development.

Early Diagnosis Can Double a Patient’s Survival Rate: Dentist West Kelowna explains


Oral cancer isn’t necessarily difficult to diagnose. I can recognize common symptoms and can easily send off a biopsy if they suspect cancer.

Catching the cancer early can greatly improve the patient’s survival rate. If the cancer hasn’t spread, the survival rate is over 80%.

But to do my  job effectively, patients need to make and keep their dental appointments. When you come in for your dental cleanings and examinations on time, the oral cancer survival rates tend to go up. This is due to the fact that I have the opportunity to detect the cancer in its earliest stages.

I want to do all I can to help the patients in my practice live a long and healthy life. That’s why, in addition to their regular exams and oral cancer screenings, I urge patients to contact me if they notice something unusual in their mouth and opt in for a oral cancer screening.

Cancer symptoms include:

  • Chewing, swallowing, and speech difficulties
  • Swollen gums, tongue, or lymph nodes in the neck
  • Mouth sores (inside the mouth and on the lips) that may or may not bleed.

In April, Velscope Oral Cancer Screenings are only $25

oral cancer dentist west kelowna offering half off oral cancer screenings

Oral cancer screenings could mean the early detection of oral cancer and successful treatment. Thankfully as your West Kelowna dentist, I proudly offer Velscope oral cancer screenings. This screening takes only five minutes and is affordable.

Typically, this Velscope screening costs $50 – however, through the month of April, we are charging only $25 for the exam (often covered by your insurance).

It is our goal to encourage the prevention and early detection of oral cancer to the best of our ability. Contact us today and set up a Velscope oral cancer screening in April to receive half off!

Oral cancer survival rates are highest with early detection. Together, we can keep you healthy!

Has it been a while since your last dental exam and oral cancer screening? Contact my office to schedule an appointment. Let’s stay on top of your oral health!