Endorsement for mouth cancer screening initiative

A SCHEME promoting routine mouth cancer screening has won a Dental Hygiene and Therapy Award for Best Dental Innovation.

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is an initiative from the Mouth Cancer Foundation to accredit dental practices carrying out thorough head and neck cancer screenings with documented referral pathways to local specialist departments.

Comprehensive mouth cancer screening takes less than two minutes to carry out and the Mouth Cancer Foundation is committed to such screenings being conducted in every dental practice.

Membership of the quality assurance programme also "demonstrates a visible commitment to increasing public awareness of mouth cancer and the routine screening of all patients for mouth cancer to nationally accepted best practice standards". The scheme includes professional development and training programmes suitable for all members of the practice team.

Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Dr Vinod Joshi said: "We are delighted to win such a prestigious award. The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helps dentists and everyone working in a dental practice to know what they are looking for and how to check and refer patients. This will allow head and neck cancers to be caught earlier.

"Head and neck cancers are particularly vicious and debilitating when detected late. Patients who survive are a huge drain on medical resources for the rest of their lives, in terms of post-operative and the psychological care required. With earlier detection, lives are saved and costs on the NHS will reduce dramatically."

To find out more go to the Mouth Cancer Foundation website.