WHO ARE THE MOUTH CANCER FOUNDATION?
The Mouth Cancer Foundation is one of the UK’s leading mouth cancer charities. It was established by Dr Vinod Joshi in June 2004 to be a professional support organisation dedicated to helping patients and carers through the crisis of mouth, throat and other head and neck cancers.
WHAT DO MOUTH CANCER FOUNDATION DO?
The Mouth Cancer Foundation is focused on reducing suffering and saving lives through prevention, education, support, patient advocacy and research related to survivorship issues. On the Mouth Cancer Foundationwebsite you will find lots of information, resources and a very good forum. This can be a great way to reach out to other patients and survivors and share experiences and support.
In addition to their web resources, every year in September the Mouth Cancer Foundation holds its annual Mouth Cancer 10km Awareness Walk in London’s Hyde Park. The walk, which is growing year on year, is designed to increase awareness and through fundraising allows the charity to provide support for mouth cancer patients and carers. People travel from all over the country to spread the message about how important it is to detect mouth cancers early, spot the signs and know the symptoms. For more information about the walk or to sign up, please visit here.
EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES.
As mouth cancer is on the increase and its early detection is essential, the Mouth Cancer Foundation has devised a ‘Two minutes to save a life’ screening protocol, which is a 10-point checklist that every dentist should be able to include in their routine examinations, whether they are based at an NHS, private or mixed practice.
Dental practices in the UK should be performing thorough mouth cancer checks on their patients. This quick, detailed examination that takes just TWO MINUTES and can save lives, yet very few patients are aware they should receive this at least once a year and it is suspected that some dental practices are still not doing it.
INFORMATION FOR DENTAL PROFESSIONALS
The Mouth Cancer Foundation has launched a new life saving initiative, the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme to raise awareness amongst both patients and dental practices. The Government, through the General Dental Council (GDC), has increased the priority given to the detection of oral cancer, and it is now a recommended topic in continuing professional development (CPD) for dentists.
The scheme will recognise dental practices that demonstrate a visible commitment to increasing public awareness of mouth cancer screening to all patients and to establish a documented referral pathway with a local specialist department.
Awareness is integral to achieving early detection of head and neck cancers, thus saving lives. The Mouth Cancer Foundation will accredit dental practices that meet certain criteria and routinely participate in oral cancer screening. Full membership includes access to a dedicated section of the charity website and FREE 1 hour CPD element as well as professional development and training modules suitable for all members of the practice team to ensure regular screening benefits practice patients.
Dr Vinod Joshi, Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation is the author of the scheme. He says “the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helps dentists 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.”
The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme aims to improve outcomes for head and neck cancers in accordance with The British Dental Association’s occasional paper for the early detection and prevention of oral cancer and NICE guidelines. It offers a realistic approach for dentists who seek to adopt best practice in oral cavity examination and opportunistic screening.
The scheme embraces recent Care Quality Commission, Information Governance and Clinical Governance requirements and satisfies the recommendation by the General Dental Council for continuous professional development for the management of oral cancer for dentists.
Accreditation is given upon application by a dental practice that demonstrates fulfilment of the listed criteria for reaching the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme standard. Membership is valid for one year and can be renewed annually on submission of all relevant criteria evidence. Full details of the scheme and details of how to join are available here