News | October 7, 2008

Sun Life Financial Adds Oral Cancer Screening To Group Dental Insurance Coverage

WELLESLEY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. division of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF; TSX: SLF) today announced its group insurance division has added oral cancer screening as a covered procedure on most new dental cases effective September 1, 2008. The new coverage includes a variety of pre-diagnostic tests that detect cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.

"Adding oral cancer screening is very much in line with our priorities for our dental coverage," said Sue Schoch, Vice President Dental Product Center. "We're constantly looking for ways to add value to our plans especially for preventative care. Some carriers have agreed to cover only certain kinds of oral cancer screening methods. We are taking the approach that there are many effective methods for early detection of oral cancer, so we are not limiting coverage to a particular method or brand name."

Oral cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lips, oral cavity, or oropharynx. Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions1.

Oral cancer screening is a small but very important part of the dental oral exam, and is crucial to preventing more costly dental and medical procedures in the future. Sun Life includes coverage for pre-diagnostic tests2 that aid in early detection, including:

  • Toluidine blue stain: Lesions in the mouth are coated with a blue dye. Areas that stain darker are more likely to be cancer or become cancer.3
  • Fluorescence staining: Lesions in the mouth are viewed using a special light after a flourescent mouth rinse.3
  • Exfoliative cytology: A piece of cotton, a brush, or a small wooden stick is used to gently scrape cells from the lips, tongue, mouth, or throat. The cells are viewed under a microscope to determine if they are abnormal.3
  • Brush biopsy: The removal of cells using a brush that is designed to collect cells from all layers of a lesion. The cells are viewed under a microscope to find out if they are abnormal.3

Oral cancer screening is now available on all new PPO and Indemnity dental plans with effective dates on or after September 1, 2008. To learn more about this coverage, call your local Sun Life Financial Employee Benefits Group Representative today. For more information on oral cancer screening, visit www.cancer.gov.

NOTE: This coverage is offered by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.), a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Sun Life Financial Inc.

About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2008, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of US $404.7 billion. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF. Visit Sun Life Financial's website at www.sunlife-usa.com.

SLPC # 19413 (10/08)

Exp. 10/09

  1. American Dental Association http://www.ada.org/public/topics/cancer_oral.asp
  2. As performed by a dentist.
  3. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/oral/Patient/page3_ statistics_for_oral_cavity_and_oropharyngeal_cancer_60.asp?sitearea= (Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste it into your Internet browser's URL address field. You may also need to remove an extra space in the URL if one exists.)

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