This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Oral Health Foundation's annual campaign which has remarkedly increased awareness from 6% to 97% over the past two decades. However, unfortunately it hasn't stemmed the rise in cases which have risen annually for the past 11 years and now stand at a record high of 8,722 across the UK. This is an increase of 58% compared to ten years ago.
We are also concerned that school closure during the lockdown period have had an impact on the delivery of the HPV vaccination, which can protect against oral cancers. This is the first year the gender-neutral HPV vaccination programme is to include boys, something we lobbied for, and won, in 2018. NHS England has assured us that this programme is still a priority and at least one dose of the vaccine will be offered to all who are eligible.
We know that early detection is the key to improved survival rates for those contracting oral cancers and that is why we support the OHF in their campaign encouraging people to undertake self-checks and to see a dentist if they notice anything unusual. There are digital resources to download from the Oral Health Foundation website to share across your websites and social channels.
Furthermore, we know that dental professionals want to remain vigilant when it comes to detecting and referring for oral cancers so we have an extensive range of content available to you.
- New oral cancer webinar: Our webinar on oral cancer detection, referral and dento-legal risks is now fully booked. However, watch this space as there will be a recording available at a later date.
- Toolkit on oral cancer (free): Developed in partnership with Cancer Research UK, to help identify and refer cases (includes 3 hours of verifiable CPD).
- CPD quiz: Improve your knowledge of the prevention and detection of oral cancer, including what to look out for and when and how to respond.
- BDJ oral cancer collection: The BDJ have grouped together their research on mouth cancer from BDJ, Evidence-Based Dentistry and BDJ Team.
- Oral cancer library collection: Our library's two collections include diagnosis and screening and risk factors and are available to members.
- Vigilance and oral cancer (blog): Dento-legal advisor Dr Jane Merivale outlines what it means to be vigilant for oral cancers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Mouth Cancer Action Month - What can you do (blog): The Oral Health Foundation discuss why self-checks are an essential part of this year's Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign.