Mouth Cancer Awareness Day

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mouth Cancer Awareness Day 2016

WHAT ARE WE ASKING DENTISTS TO DO THIS YEAR

We are reverting to the original format for Mouth Cancer Awareness Day 2016 and asking dentists to sign up to provide FREE mouth cancer exams on Wednesday, 21st September. All dentists willing to participate must register by signing up here.

However, we would ask you to tell any patient who attends your practice on Wednesday, 21st September, that today is Mouth Cancer Awareness Day. Please mention the risk factors (especially tobacco and alcohol) and the importance of regular dental examinations in the early detection of this disease. Also please make information leaflets on mouth cancer available to patients. If you require leaflets for your practice, please contact the Irish Cancer Society at 1800 200 700. Patients can also be referred to www.mouthcancerawareness.ie for further information.

Background to Mouth Cancer Awareness Day

Mouth cancer is an important global healthcare problem. There are more than 300 cases of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx reported in Ireland every year. In Britain, the incidence of mouth cancer has increased faster than any other cancer in the past 25 years. Worldwide, this disease affects 650,000 people a year and is the sixth most common type of cancer.

The problem with mouth cancer is not simply that the incidence is rising, but also that these cancers are still being detected at an advanced stage. Consequently, treatments are more complex, can last longer and deeply affect a patient's quality of life and survival.

Dentists have a key role to play in the early detection of mouth cancer and in prevention of the disease by identifying those patients who are exposed to risk factors.


Click on the image above to download the poster as a pdf.

WHAT TO DO TO PARTICIPATE
Before Mouth Cancer Awareness Day

  1. Ensure that your surgery has registered for Mouth Cancer Awareness Day 2016 by signing up here
  2. Display the surgery poster that you received with the latest edition of the Journal of the Irish Dental Association in your practice and, if possible, display the second poster in your local library, shop, sports centre, pharmacy, public house, or GP surgery. You can request additional posters from IDA house if required.
  3. Identify the most appropriate referral pathway for your area – get contact details.
  4. Display any educational materials such as smoking cessation leaflets and mouth head and neck cancer leaflets.  Further materials can be ordered through the Irish Cancer Society Tel 01 2310539 – and ask for the Mouth Head and Neck Cancer Leaflets
  5. Review the educational material here to ensure that you and your staff feel comfortable answering any questions patients may have.
  6. Ensure you have adequate supplies for the day e.g you may find disposable mirrors useful, and clipboards for people to complete the forms.
  7. Suggested supplies
  • Digital cameras to photograph suspicious lesions
  • Disposable dental mirrors
  • Wooden tongue/spatulas
  • Alcohol wipes and cross infection barriers
  • Information brochures on oral cancer

On the Day itself

  1. Register all patients as "Mouth Cancer Day Examination".
  2. Carry out the Mouth Cancer Examination.
  3. Give educational materials to the patients where appropriate.

 
What next?
No abnormality – Discharge the patient
What is an urgent referral?
Mouth Cancer Awareness Day in September will generate an enormous number of referrals to the Dublin and Cork Dental Schools and to regional Maxillofacial Surgeons.  It is imperative that we identify patients with high-risk lesions that are potentially cancers, so that these can be investigate urgently, as opposed to those whose investigation is less urgent.
 
An oral finding deemed URGENT would be:

  • a) A mass, especially if the swelling is indurated (hard) on palpation compared to the surrounding tissues;
  • b) A persistent ulcer (present for more than three weeks and not healing) especially if indurated on palpation compared to the surrounding tissues; or
  • c) A “speckled” red and white lesion, especially if the surface and indurated on palpation compared to the surrounding tissues.

Homogeneous leukoplakias, soft red and which lesions exhibiting striations (lichenoid lesions) and frictional kerotoses on the edentulous alveolar mucosa, would be considered low-risk lesions and can be referred in the normal manner.  If you can see a possible cause for the lesions (eg a sharp tooth, or an ill-fitting denture) please attend to this first, and review after a week or two, before referring.

URGENT REFERRAL - Phone lines active on 21st September only
Dublin Dental School: A dedicated telephone for URGENT referrals that fulfil the above criteria – 087-7373859.  We can only guarantee to see patients urgently is referred via the dedicated telephone system where you will receive a priority appointment time and date for assessment of your patient.  Please do not leave voice messages.
Cork Dental School: A dedicated telephone hotline for URGENT referrals that fulfil the above criteria – 021 490 1148 We can only guarantee to see patients urgently if referred via the dedicated telephone system, where you will receive a priority appointment time and date for assessment of your patient.  Please do not leave voice messages.

1. Calls will only be accepted from GDPs and the number should not be given to patients.
2. Calls should only be made in relation to urgent suspected or likely cancers.
3. All other referrals should be sent in the usual manner and will be triaged as per all our other referrals.


It must be stressed that only individuals referred via the emergency phone lines in both dental hospitals will be given a priority appointment for urgent care and possible biopsy.
Please advise the patient that there may be a fee incurred for the referral appointment.
Please give the patient a copy of your completed examination from to bring to their appointment.


Routine referrals:
Where a lesion requires further investigation, please consult your local oral surgeon, Cork Dental School & Hospital or Dublin Dental University Hospital.  Again, please ensure that the Mouth Map is attached to the MCAD Examination Form.  It may be useful to take a photo of the lesion for email referral purposes. Please place these referrals in an envelope clearly marked Mouth Cancer Awareness Day when posting. Please ensure for all referrals that you keep the original copy of the Mouth Cancer Examination in your surgery and that you forward a copy to the relevant specialist/hospital.
 
Please advise the patient that they are likely to incur a fee for the referral appointment.