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Dent Update. 2000 Oct;27(8):404-8.

The role of the general dental practitioner in detection and prevention of oral cancer: a review of the literature.

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Primary Dental Care, University of Glasgow Dental School.


Over the last two decades little progress appears to have been made in reducing the incidence and number of deaths associated with oral cancer. The most recently available Scottish data indicate a steady rise in both incidence of, and mortality rates from, tongue and 'mouth' cancer, supporting previous observations of a steady rise in the incidence of oral cancer since the mid 1970s. Very little improvement in 5-year survival rates for oral cancer has been observed in England and Wales and, over the last 30 years, survival rates in Scotland have actually declined. Although many dentists are committed to examining the mouth for oral cancer, the majority still feel uncomfortable with involvement in patient education. Clearly scope exists for dental practitioners to improve patient awareness of both oral cancer itself and the risk factors associated with the disease. Dental teams should be aware of the opportunities within dental practice to contribute to preventive initiatives--such as smoking cessation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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