Youngsters enrolled on the Prince’s Trust TEAM project in Plymouth will learn more about oral cancer, thanks to Year 2 dental students from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
Oral cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the UK and affects both sexes, although statistics show that almost twice as many men as women have the disease.
In many cases the disease can be prevented because risk is very much linked to lifestyle – 93% of incidences in men and 85% in women are associated with lifestyle activities such as smoking, alcohol consumption and diet and nutrition.
Dental students are running a series of events with young people on the Prince’s Trust TEAM project to help raise awareness of the risks and ways to avoid contracting the disease.
This includes looking at the dangers of smoking, alcohol and poor diet and promoting and encouraging oral hygiene. The sessions will also include a talk from an oral cancer survivor.
It is hoped that by raising awareness at a young age (16 to 25-year-olds) the risks of developing oral cancer later in life will be greatly reduced.
The activity is part of the special study unit element of the dentistry course at Plymouth University, which sees students working closely with groups including children, adolescents, the elderly, substance abusers and prisoners.
The aim is to raise awareness of oral health issues and provide the advice and tools necessary for individuals to improve their oral health. It also gives dental students vital experience of working with a wide range of people.