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​​Oral cancer

Dentists play a vital role in saving lives

Dentists and their teams have a vital role to play in ensuring oral cancers are detected early and patients are informed about the risk factors.

With oral cancers, the key is spotting early on: early detection results in a roughly 90 per cent survival rate, compared to a 50 per cent survival rate for delayed diagnosis.


What is the BDA doing?

We have called for smoking-cessation funding to be ring-fenced and highlighted that cutting local councils' public health budgets means that services which are not mandatory, such as support for smokers who want to quit, are under threat.

We campaigned vigorously for action on plain packaging of cigarettes, alongside the Smokefree Action Coalition and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and we welcomed the news in 2015, that plain packaging was to be fast-tracked. 

Retailers have had to conform to the new guidance on plain packaging for tobacco products from 20 May 2016.

Our free oral cancer toolkit with CPD

We have developed an oral cancer toolkit in partnership with Cancer Research UK, to help dental health professionals identify and refer possible cases of oral cancer:


The toolkit includes information on the signs to look out for, how to respond, as well as possible risk factors and includes a CPD quiz, with 3 hours of verifiable CPD. 


Top tips for detecting oral cancers

We offer a range of resources and advice on detecting oral cancers, including the occasional paper on prevention and early detection.


The BDA Library has copies of the latest research findings on oral cancers and a host of other topics to help you keep your knowledge up-to-date.

Watch Mike Lewis, Professor of Oral Medicine, giving his top tips for detecting mouth cancers in our short video:



CPD and seminars

We run seminars and courses each year on oral and mouth cancers, including our training course 'Oral cancer, identify, refer and prevent'.


Our online ilearn lectures are a great way of topping up your CPD and keeping you up to date, and can be done anytime:

Campaigning for better oral health

We support a range of initiatives focusing on oral and mouth cancers, and encourages dentists and their teams to get involved. During 2017, we will be supporting:



HPV vaccinations for boys

Since 2015, we have been highlighting HPV vaccination for boys, in support of HPV Action's campaign.


We've said that 400,000 boys may be left at risk if the JCVI doesn't extend vaccinations to be gender neutral.


Resources and social media infographics

The BDA has a patient leaflet on mouth cancers, copies can be purchased via the BDA shop.


Read the latest opinions on oral cancer in our blogs.

Download and share our infographics on social media or your website to help get the message across (right click and then click on 'save picture as, to download'):




mouth cancer 3.jpg


Supporting you

Through policy and campaigning work, the BDA is able to ensure that the concerns of all sections of the profession are raised and that dentists' voices are heard at a national level: join us.

You can also follow updates from the BDA on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.