Dentists call for government action following concerns over missed oral cancer screenings

The BAPD call on government action following fears over oral cancer screenings

The British Association of Private Dentistry (BAPD) is urging the government to amend its advice in a bid to help practices successfully screen for oral cancer.

Last week, the association carried out a straw poll of its members. This was to determine whether dental professionals across the UK were experiencing troubles  referring patients suspected of having oral cancer.

And the results showed that 676 out of the 755 participants polled reported referral problems from primary to secondary care.

Multifactorial problem

Co-founder of the association, Jason Smithson, believes there are a number of reasons for the results.

‘The comments would suggest a multifactorial problem; however, there would seem to be some common themes,’ he said.

‘Clearly, this is a serious problem for the profession. Therefore, we have compiled a survey that we hope to present to PHE and NHSE, and may impact fallow and PPE.’

The BAPD hopes a more detailed survey will better determine the extent of the problem.

Click here to access the survey. 

Missed cancer screenings

This comes as research suggests more than 24,000 cases of cancer have gone undiagnosed as a result of the pandemic.

At the start of last month, Cancer Research revealed that around 2.5 million people in the UK had not been screened, tested or treated for cancer during the lockdown period.

Further analysis showed more than two million people were waiting to undergo screening for breast, cervical or bowel cancer.

This was due to the disruption of every day services as the NHS worked to battle COVID-19.


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