Cancer remains one of the most debilitating and disfiguring of all malignancies.
It presents the whole dental team with important obligations, challenges and a real
opportunity to save lives as daily oral cancer deaths in India are currently increasing
due to rise in tobacco use ( smoking, bidi, gutka, quid, snuff or misri).
Dentists have an important role in detecting (screening) and referring patients
for oral cancer because other health professionals do not check this area. Screening
is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer
or abnormal tissue at an early stage. The earlier, the lesions are found the greater
the chance of recovery, treatment, quality of life and function. By the time symptoms
appear, cancer may have begun to spread. A major problem is that more than half
of all oral cancer cases have already metastasized to regional or distant structures
at the time of detection which decreases the 5 year survival period.
In the face of the oral cancer challenge, dental professionals have a unique opportunity.
First to identity risky lifestyle, next give advice about smoking cessation, reduce
alcohol and nutrition. The patient is expecting to talk about health with the dentist
--- so all that is needed is to broaden the topic and include primary protection.
This means changing habits and lifestyles.
Why get OCF training?
OCF training provides resources to help dentists incorporate a comprehensive cancer
screening programme in practice. You must instruct patients on oral self- examination
techniques. Review your practice procedures for a proactive role in oral cancer
incidence by incorportaing the following:
- medical history-taking
- lifestyle counselling
- undertaking a clinical
- recording examination findings
- making specialist referrals
OCF also operates a public awareness campaign to educate the public about factors
which cause oral cancer and instilling the need for a yearly screening. Periodontal
monitoring is now accepted as part of the routine dental examination.