With spring having arrived, the start of gardening season coincides with the arrival of Daffodil Month. By wearing a Daffodil, we honour the memory of loved ones we have lost to cancer as well as show our support to those currently fighting this dreadful disease. We certainly encourage all of you to show your support by proudly displaying your daffodil, particularly on April 27, which is Daffodil Day.

Sadly, cancer takes so many different forms, we have more than one month in the year dedicated to various forms of cancer awareness. For example, October is breast cancer awareness. March is colon cancer awareness.

We are certainly aware of the dangers of breast cancer for women and colon or prostate cancer for men, as well as many other forms of cancer. However, there is one form of cancer that is seldom discussed: namely oral cancer.

In these times, many of us have difficulty finding a family doctor who can provide the necessary examination to help detect some of these cancers at an early stage. At Rideau Dental Centre, our focus is to assist in at least one area by providing a thorough examination for oral cancer.

And this examination is a vital factor to reduce the mortality rate from oral cancer. It may surprise you to learn that, oral cancer has a much higher mortality rate than many other forms of cancer, including breast cancer.

The reason for this is simple: lack of awareness and lack of early detection. Many people fail to visit their dentist on a regular basis. That means they may not receive the complete oral examination needed to find the early warning signs of oral cancer.

All too often, we either discover one of our own patients with the telltale signs of oral cancer, or discuss similar discoveries with colleagues at other offices. We have a lot of good news stories where we discover the signs of oral cancer early and a full recovery is made. Those stories truly excite us and make us proud of our contribution to your health.

Sadly, too many patients do not come regularly enough and we are only able to discover their cancer when it is too late! In such cases, the cancer often takes advantage of the easy access the mouth provides to other systems within your body, and metastasizes to other locations.

For Daffodil Month, the best way you can honour any loved ones you have lost to cancer is to make sure you act on their memory. So if you have not had an oral cancer check recently, we recommend that you contact us at Rideau Dental Centre as your tribute to that special person! Because early detection of oral cancer is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives!

Dr.  Martin LaBoissonniere

Dental Surgeon