Oral (oral cavity and oropharyngeal) cancers are some of the most preventable types of cancer, and over 90% of all oral cancer cases could be avoided.
We know that dentists and their teams play a vital role in ensuring oral cancers are detected early, and can help to save people’s lives.
And yet, oral cancers continue to rise across the four UK countries:
Public Health England’s Stoptober campaigns aims to support people to quit smoking, and dentists can take part by encouraging their patients to do so.
Free resources are available from the campaign’s website, including posters that can be ordered online.
The NICE guideline on stop smoking interventions and services was updated in March 2018.
Some of the new recommendations for healthcare workers include:
NICE also recommends that all healthcare professions should be trained to offer Very Brief Advice (VBA) – there’s a free short training module available from the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training. Public Health England’s Smokefree and Smilingguidance provides advice tailored specifically to dentists.
The RCP and NICE now also recommend that e-cigarettes should be discussed as an option for smoking cessation when appropriate.
Stop Smoking Services are the most effective way for smokers to quit, but as access to these services varies and they may not be suitable for everyone, they are suggesting that e-cigarettes might be an appropriate option to try.
As e-cigarettes are a new technology, there is not yet enough evidence to prove their long-term safety, and the BDA’s Health and Science Committee has a watching brief on this. We will keep you updated with any new evidence.
Cancer Research UK also has a free e-newsletter, Cancer Insight, which you can sign up to, with best practice advice on important cancer-related topics, as well as evidence, training materials, tools and patient resources.
Don’t forget to use our free oral cancer toolkit for dentists and their teams, developed in conjunction with CRUK. It will help you to identify, diagnose and refer, in accordance with the current NICE guidance.
Arianne Matlin, Head of Health and Science Policy
We campaign on a range of issues to get better working lives for dentists and we work to improve the oral health of the nation.
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