LED Medical Diagnostics Inc., has announced the results of an oral health screening programme in conjunction with London Drugs, a Canada-based pharmacy and retailer with 78 stores across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Following a successful pilot oral mucosal screening programme in 2015, London Drugs again offered customers the opportunity to have a comprehensive oral examination to screen for oral mucosal abnormalities while incorporating tissue fluorescence visualisation technology.
The screenings incorporate the use of LED Medical Diagnostics’ VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System, a device utilised as an adjunct to comprehensive oral examination that enhances the ability of clinicians to visualise oral mucosal abnormalities that many not be apparent to the naked eye, including oral cancer, pre-malignant dysplasia and infections. The oral health screenings were conducted by Ms. Stacey-Rhodes Nessett, a Registered Dental Hygienist, and Dr. Ken Neuman, an accomplished dentist and member of the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry.
As the sixth most prevalent cancer globally, oral cancer is often diagnosed in late stages when the five-year survival rate is lower. Early detection and diagnosis of this disease through routine oral health screenings is often suggested as a means to finding the cancer in earlier stages where treatment is often more conservative with a better patient outcome.
The screenings were available between April 25and May 18at 14 London Drugs locations in and around the greater Vancouver, British Columbia market. Consumer demand for the screenings was very high, with waiting lists during several days of the event. Patients paid a fee of $25 per screening, with $5 of each examination being donated to the British Columbia Oral Cancer Prevention Programme (BCOCPP).
Of the 167 patients screened, over 20 per cent exhibited an oral mucosal abnormality that was discovered during the examination and were subsequently referred to a dental clinician for further diagnostic intervention.
Customers that received the oral health screenings were invited to complete a post-examination survey, providing invaluable feedback regarding their experience. Of those polled, 96 per cent indicated that they would recommend a friend or family member to be screened and 86 per cent of patients responded that they are committed to continuing on with yearly oral health screenings, whether through London Drugs or at their family dental practice. These statistics reinforce the need for expanding the performance of routine oral screenings, in both dental practices and in non-traditional outlets. London Drugs has already committed to another round of screening clinics tentatively scheduled for April 2017.
“We are beyond pleased to be able to provide this service to our customers and patients,” stated Mr. John Tse, vice president, pharmacy, London Drugs. “Our customers’ response to this screening programme has been extremely positive with full clinic attendance. Because we know this oral screening education and availability at London Drugs is important to our customers and patients, we will continue to work together with our dental partners to provide this valuable service.
“What we see is that oral cancer, its risk factors, which include tobacco, alcohol and human papilloma virus (HPV), and the necessity for routine oral examinations needs improved awareness,” stated Mr. Wayne Rees, vice president of VELscope Imaging for LED Dental. “Once made aware of the importance of screening to their overall health, many patients will choose and pay for these services, whether provided by businesses such as London Drugs or through their dental provider.
“We are proud to partner with London Drugs to improve access of oral screenings utilising VELscope technology to the general public,” concluded Dr. David Gane, CEO of LED Medical Diagnostics. “The use of VELscope as an additional tool during these examinations gives confidence to patients, knowing that their oral healthcare provider is relying on the latest tissue fluorescence visualisation technology as a safeguard against overlooking oral abnormalities that may not be visible to the naked eye.”