As soon as leading British dentist and Mouth Cancer Foundation Ambassador, Dr Philip Lewis, launched the new Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme to delegates in a packed theatre hall at the BDA Conference and Exhibition on Saturday, the charity started receiving requests from dental practices to sign up to the national life-saving scheme.
The Government, through the General Dental Council (GDC), has increased the priority given to the detection of oral cancer, and it is now a recommended topic in continuing professional development (CPD) for dentists. Dental practices in the UK should be performing thorough mouth cancer checks on their patients and delegates at the BDA conference were eager to find out more about how to screen for oral cancer efficiently.
From now on the Mouth Cancer Foundation will accredit dental practices when they demonstrate a visible commitment to increasing public awareness of mouth cancer screening to all patients and to establish a documented referral pathway with a local specialist department. Dentists must meet certain criteria and routinely participate in oral cancer screening. There is a quick, detailed examination that takes just TWO MINUTES. Dental teams will learn how to perform this exam as well as having access to a dedicated section of the charity website and FREE 1 hour CPD element. There are also professional development and training modules suitable for all members of the practice team.
“There was overwhelming support for the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme at the BDA Conference. Mouth Cancer can be deadly and early detection is essential. The Mouth Cancer Foundation has devised a ‘Two minutes to save a life’ screening protocol, which is a 10-point check-list that every dentist should be able to include in their routine examinations.
“The scheme advocates full team involvement with our CPD package training everyone from the reception staff through to the clinicians. Raising public awareness of this escalating killer is crucial to encouraging everyone over the age of 16 to be screened annually.”
Dr Vinod Joshi, Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation is the author of the scheme. He says “the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helps dentists to know what they are looking for and how to check and refer patients.
This will allow head and neck cancers to be caught earlier. Head and neck cancers are particularly vicious and debilitating when detected late. Patients who survive are a huge drain on medical resources for the rest of their lives, in terms of post operative and the psychological care required. With earlier detection, lives are saved and costs on the NHS will reduce dramatically.”