Advocate Dental - Vancouver

Oral Cancer Screening in Vancouver

Early cancer detection for the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. Learn the signs and understand your risks.
Call 778-907-0734

The signs and symptoms of oral cancer

Oral cancer is characterized from abnormal cell growth in the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. With early detection, oral cancers have a high rate of successful treatment. The people at the greatest risk for oral cancers are those over the age of 45 but regardless of your age, you should opt for oral cancer screening if you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms:

  • Discoloured patches in your mouth or on your lips including white or dark red in colour.
  • Unfamiliar lumps or unusual changes in texture.
  • Canker sores that won’t heal, numb patches or persistent bleeding.
  • Unusual feeling tongue, change in sense of taste and difficulty swallowing.

The risk factors for oral cancer

There are several behaviours and conditions that are associated with a higher risk of oral cancer. These include:

  • Smoking or consuming tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco
  • Heavy or moderately heavy consumption of alcohol (especially combined with tobacco)
  • Possibility of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection of the mouth.
  • Excessive exposure to the sun; a lifestyle that includes lots of sun exposure.
  • A poor diet or poor eating habits.
  • Family history of oral cancer.
  • Oral cancer is more common in men than in women.
  • A history of leukoplakia (a thick, whitish-colour patch that develops inside the mouth)

Prevention, detection and treatment of oral cancer

Treatment will be planned on a case by case basis and will heavily depend on the severity, type and location of the suspected cancer.

Spotting early signs of cancer

The goal of an oral cancer screening is the early detection of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. During the exam, your dentist will look over the inside of your mouth and under your tongue for red or white patches or suspicious sores. Your dentist will also feel the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or odd textures and may also feel the outside of your throat and neck for lumps.

Diagnosis and treatment

If signs of cancer are detected during your oral screening you may be asked to undergo additional testing such as a biopsy (where a small piece of the suspicious tissue is removed for lab examination) or imaging tests like Xrays, ultrasounds, CT scans or an MRI. To remove confirmed tumours, surgery or chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be necessary.

Prevention of oral cancer

You can take steps now to help prevent oral cancer later. To help reduce your risk of oral cancer see your dentist regularly for routine exams, stop using tobacco products and drink responsibly, be mindful of your exposure to direct sunlight and use U/V protective lip balms, eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and veggies and during your routine brushing and flossing rituals, remember to check your mouth for signs or symptoms so that you can report any concerns to your dentist.

Contact us today

to schedule an initial consultation & exam.

Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any of the risk factors for oral cancer it’s a good idea to ask for an oral cancer screening at your regular dental exam. If you have discovered an unusually coloured or textured patch in your mouth or a lump or suspicious sore you’re encouraged to schedule an appointment to get it checked out.
Your dentist will examine your lips and the inside of your mouth including your cheeks, gums and all sides of your tongue. They will also carefully feel around for any lumps or unusual textures. The dentist may also feel your face, jaw, throat and neck for unusual lumps or tenderness.
Wash your hands with warm soapy water. In front of your bathroom mirror, you’ll want to examine the roof of your mouth, your lips, tongue and gums. Pull your top lip up and bottom lip down to see behind them. You may use a piece of gauze or a cotton pad to help you grip your tongue to check the sides and underside. Do your best to look at your gums, and use your fingers to feel the insides of your mouth. You’re looking and feeling for colour changes, lumps and bumps, unusual textures or tenderness. Let your dentist know if you have any sores that have not healed after two weeks.
Small, usually painless, flat patches that may appear red, white, gray or yellow with red edges. These small patches can affect any area of the mouth including the lips, gums, cheeks, tongue and the roof of the mouth. As a good rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to have anything that looks or feels unusual checked out by your doctor or dentist.

Google Verified Patient Reviews

Johnny MOK
5 months ago
My in-laws and I recently had the pleasure of receiving dental services from Dr. Jimmy Loo, and I am compelled to share my overwhelmingly positive experience. Dr. Loo's exceptional patience stood out throughout my entire visit. He took the time to thoroughly explain each procedure, ensuring I felt comfortable and informed at every step. His ability to listen attentively to my concerns and address them with care is truly commendable. I highly recommend Dr. Jimmy Loo for anyone seeking dental services. His wonderful demeanor, extreme professionalism, and unwavering patience set him apart in the field. My dental experience was not only painless but genuinely pleasant, thanks to Dr. Loo and his dedicated team.
More
Dudu Chiu
6 months ago
Have been seeing Dr Jimmy Loo since years ago, long before this new dental office is ever set up in Kerrisdale. Noticeable upgrade in every aspect including office location and interior design. Same professional service and attention to detail. Great experience starting from the welcoming smile of the reception. Very impressive!
More
Charissa Faith
8 months ago
Dr Loo is genuinely the nicest dentist I’ve ever met. Extremely helpful, friendly, and doesn’t mind taking time to explain things to you - unlike most doctors or dentists that are always in a hurry. The staff there is also all very friendly and helpful! Always a positive experience going there.
More
Joe Cash
10 months ago
I had a good experience with Dr. Jimmy Loo 12 years ago when I needed to have a tooth extracted, and when he opened his own practice I was happy to become one of his clients. His new office is clean, functional and fully equipped with the latest technology. I was amazed to have a night guard made using imaging software rather than an actual physical mould. Dr. Loo and his staff are professional, personable and skilful. He makes sure you understand a procedure and always asks if you have any questions. He is also prepared to take on emergencies. My wife recently recommended him to a friend who needed an emergency procedure on a Saturday evening and he remained at his office to assist her. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a competent and caring dentist.
More
Theresa Lee
11 months ago
Dr Loo has been my dentist for over 12 years. I am always impressed by his consistency, dedication to his profession and genuine care for his patients. When discussing the procedure for either a root canal, bridge, crown or an extraction, he is patient and explains clearly all the options, pros/cons, and what to expect. During the procedure, he always makes sure you are fine and he is willing to make changes/adjustment for you to get the best results. He is very flexible to accommodate dental emergency requests and gives you a follow-up call himself after something serious such as a tooth extraction. All the staff on his team are friendly and helpful. Seeing a dentist is not a fun thing, however, I always feel reassured seeing Dr Loo, because I know I am in good hands. I highly recommend Dr Loo to anyone who is looking for a caring and competent dentist.
More
Johnny MOK
5 months ago
My in-laws and I recently had the pleasure of receiving dental services from Dr. Jimmy Loo, and I am compelled to share my overwhelmingly positive experience. Dr. Loo's exceptional patience stood out throughout my entire visit. He took the time to thoroughly explain each procedure, ensuring I felt comfortable and informed at every step. His ability to listen attentively to my concerns and address them with care is truly commendable. I highly recommend Dr. Jimmy Loo for anyone seeking dental services. His wonderful demeanor, extreme professionalism, and unwavering patience set him apart in the field. My dental experience was not only painless but genuinely pleasant, thanks to Dr. Loo and his dedicated team.
More
Dudu Chiu
6 months ago
Have been seeing Dr Jimmy Loo since years ago, long before this new dental office is ever set up in Kerrisdale. Noticeable upgrade in every aspect including office location and interior design. Same professional service and attention to detail. Great experience starting from the welcoming smile of the reception. Very impressive!
More
Charissa Faith
8 months ago
Dr Loo is genuinely the nicest dentist I’ve ever met. Extremely helpful, friendly, and doesn’t mind taking time to explain things to you - unlike most doctors or dentists that are always in a hurry. The staff there is also all very friendly and helpful! Always a positive experience going there.
More
Joe Cash
10 months ago
I had a good experience with Dr. Jimmy Loo 12 years ago when I needed to have a tooth extracted, and when he opened his own practice I was happy to become one of his clients. His new office is clean, functional and fully equipped with the latest technology. I was amazed to have a night guard made using imaging software rather than an actual physical mould. Dr. Loo and his staff are professional, personable and skilful. He makes sure you understand a procedure and always asks if you have any questions. He is also prepared to take on emergencies. My wife recently recommended him to a friend who needed an emergency procedure on a Saturday evening and he remained at his office to assist her. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a competent and caring dentist.
More
Theresa Lee
11 months ago
Dr Loo has been my dentist for over 12 years. I am always impressed by his consistency, dedication to his profession and genuine care for his patients. When discussing the procedure for either a root canal, bridge, crown or an extraction, he is patient and explains clearly all the options, pros/cons, and what to expect. During the procedure, he always makes sure you are fine and he is willing to make changes/adjustment for you to get the best results. He is very flexible to accommodate dental emergency requests and gives you a follow-up call himself after something serious such as a tooth extraction. All the staff on his team are friendly and helpful. Seeing a dentist is not a fun thing, however, I always feel reassured seeing Dr Loo, because I know I am in good hands. I highly recommend Dr Loo to anyone who is looking for a caring and competent dentist.
More
    Advocate Dental - Vancouver

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    Call 778-907-0734