LED dental to provide VELscopes for London Drugs' Oral Cancer Screening ProgramLED Dental, a wholly-owned Canadian operating subsidiary of LED Medical Diagnostics Inc. (“LED Medical”, “the Company”), is partnering with London Drugs to provide its VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment Systems for a pilot program for oral cancer screenings. The p
“This is the first time we are working with colleagues outside the dental field to find ways to combat the minimally-known, but deadly oral cancer,” said Dr. Samson Ng.
Abnormal areas discovered during screening, where follow-up is recommended, will be documented on a form and provided to the customer to take to their dentist or healthcare provider. This service, initially to be offered at no cost to the customers, will then be offered at either no cost or a very low cost to customers on an on-going basis (depending on the results of a survey that London Drugs will conduct among customers).
“We continue to see the pharmacy expanding its role in the health of Canadians,” said John Tse, London Drugs vice president. “This is a first ever for a pharmacy in Canada, and we appreciate the support of LED Dental to help us build the pilot program.”
“We are pleased to be able to provide VELscope Vx Systems to London Drugs and have the VELscope Vx play an important role in oral cancer screening for the general public,” stated Dr. David Gane, CEO, LED Medical. “Our goal through this program is to assist London Drugs in contributing to a reduced incidence of oral cancer in Canada through early detection.”
This screening program will enhance the health of the general public. Access to preventative dental care varies across different income groups, but some estimates suggest the percentage of the population that does not have regular access to a dentist can be as high as 17%. This program also helps to respond to the growing demand for oral cancer screening, which has risen recently because of the aging population, a growing awareness of oral cancer, and the importance of early detection. Statistics from SEER (the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute) indicate that 65% of oral cancer is discovered in the later stages when the survival rate is only 54%, whereas the 31% of cases that are found in the early stages have an 83% survival rate. Currently, 37% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer die within five years of their diagnosis.
The Company manufactures and markets the VELscope Vx System, an adjunctive screening device for helping health-care providers discover and define the extent of a wide range of oral mucosal abnormalities – from viral, fungal, and bacterial infections to cancer and pre-cancer. To-date, more than 25 million VELscope Vx exams have been performed by more than 12,000 dentists in 23 countries.