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Oral Cancer Recognition Toolkit

by Cancer Research UK
with support from The British Dental Association

Summary of work

Oral cancer is a growing problem in the UK with high relative mortality and increasing incidence. Low awareness of signs, symptoms and risk factors are barriers to improve poor patient outcomes, as are a lack of prevention support and early detection by healthcare providers.

In light of this insight, the Oral Cancer Recognition Toolkit was created by Cancer Research UK, in collaboration with the British Dental Association and M3 Medical. Funded by the Department of Health, it was developed as an educational resource to support GPs and dentists to improve patient outcomes.

To date over 20,000 healthcare professionals accessed the Toolkit, of which 18% of GPs and 32% of dentists returned at least once. It is highly regarded as a useful and valuable resource.

An evaluation was undertaken to understand the impact of the Toolkit on knowledge, confidence and practice. Dentists increased their awareness of risk factors and the two-week wait referral pathway and reported increased confidence and likelihood to refer appropriately. GPs had high awareness of key signs/symptoms but reported learning new ones and increased awareness of key risk factors. GPs reported increased confidence to identify signs/symptoms and make appropriate referrals to secondary care. Both groups reported increased vigilance and improved examination technique.

Future plans for the Toolkit include extending its reach to new audiences and updating and adding content, to further improve health professionals’ referral of oral lesions and therefore patient outcomes.

Judges' comments

Cancer Research UK and The British Dental Association impressed us with their ability to educate and recruit. This was an expansive programme with a wide reach and it clearly addresses an important need.

Highly commended

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with support from The British Dental Association

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Key dates

Entry deadline 26 August 2022
Extended entry deadline 2 September 2022*
*additional fee applies
Judging Day 6 October 2022
Company/Team of the Year Interviews 21 October 2022
PMEA Event 23 November 2022