The BDA is surveying dentists in Scotland to find out about their experiences of oral cancer services in their area. The survey results will help shape an action plan and national referral pathway to be presented to ministers in the Scottish Government in November. Through this it is hoped to achieve improved outcomes for patients through prevention, early detection and uniform access to the best current surgical and restorative treatments.
The 'Oral cancer in Scotland - turning the tide' survey asks about dentists' experience of preventative services such as smoking cessation, oral cancer services, the potential impact of proposed changes to check-up intervals on detection and invites dentists to share their views on how to improve prevention and morbidity, as well as their experiences of dealing with patients with the condition.
Oral cancer rates in Scotland are double those in England, and people from the most deprived communities are up to three times more likely to be affected.
The BDA wants to hear the views and experiences of dentists, both BDA members and non-members.
Oral cancer toolkit for dental health professionals
The BDA's free oral cancer toolkit is designed to help dental health professionals to identify and refer possible cases of oral cancer, and was developed with Cancer Research UK.
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.