Early detection of oral cancer: Why? What? How?

Friday, October 18, 2019 14:15 - 15:00


Oral cancer is among the 10th most common cancers worldwide. There has been a 32% increase of incidence over the last 10 years and its incidence is on the rise. There are approximately 8300 new cases per year in UK. This cancer has still high mortality and high morbidity. Generally speaking the earlier the cancer is diagnosed the better are the prognosis and survival rate.

Public awareness of oral cancer is low; patients often delay to seek professional advice. We should minimise time from onset of signs or symptoms to diagnosis. Primary prevention starts educating our patients with key messages. Secondary prevention is practiced every time we inspect oral cavities.

Oral health care professional including dentists, hygienists and therapists should be trained to recognised suspicious lesions and refer patients when appropriate.

This session is designed to give a detailed discussion of traditional and emerging risk factors associated with oral cancer. The importance and how to perform an effective oral soft tissue examination will be showed with a video. 


Participants after this session should be able understand the importance of "why" an early detection of oral cancer is important, "what" we should look for during a routine oral soft tissue examination and "how" to be confident and timely in managing these cases. 

Participants will be aware of what are the signs and symptoms a patient with an early or late cancer might present with. 

Starting from patient history followed by soft tissue examination the delegates will be able to recognise patient at high risk and act accordingly.

The whole team in a dental practice plays and important role in identifying patients presenting with early signs and everyone should be informed about risk factors and key messages.  

The urgent (2 weeks) referral system will be explained and the journey of a patient with oral cancer will be showed.

Dr Ciro Gilvetti DDS, MFDS, AFHEA, MClinDent OS, DipOral Medicine, Senior Specialty Doctor Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Queen Victoria Hospital