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Event Report: Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, November 2017
Building on successful collaborations in the past 2 years we returned with our campaign to Dundee this November and aimed to reach further and wider into the community. After intensive tutorials and campaign design in the morning the teams of final year students & core trainees went to meet identified high risk groups: ethnic minority women at the Dundee International Women’s Centre, homeless people at an afternoon church drop-in session and care workers at local residential elderly care homes. With great enthusiasm our volunteers imparted the skills & knowledge to empower these target groups to recognise common early signs & symptoms of mouth cancer in their own or their care home residents’ mouths.
At the evening CPD lecture “What am I Looking At?” hosted by the BDA Dundee & Perth Section our trustees covered early detection and referral for mouth cancer. This was greatly emphasised by the live interview with Ian Rankin whose wife Jeni recently lost her fight against mouth cancer.
On Thursday 16th November a small team travelled down to the Scottish Parliament where, joined by charity patron Scott Hastings, they lobbied and impressed upon MSPs the urgent challenge that mouth cancer presents and how simple risk reduction and early detection by mouth self-examination can save lives. Additionally, the pressure for gender-neutral HPV vaccination was further applied to parliamentarians.
It was a busy yet successful month of campaigning; the support from all at Dundee Dental Hospital & School was greatly appreciated.
Trustee speaks at Dublin Dental Hospital September 2017
September 20th marked Mouth Cancer Awareness Day in Ireland. Following a connection made with the Mouth Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Ireland Group at the Global Oral Cancer Forum in New York, Orna made a presentation at a seminar hosted in Dublin Dental Hospital on the 14th September. This seminar highlighted oral health related issues in socially excluded and disadvantaged groups who may not attend for regular dental care. It was the key event in the run up to Mouth Cancer Awareness Day. Orna discussed the work of Let’s Talk About Mouth Cancer, with particular reference to the campaign’s interaction with ethnic minority groups and older adults. The seminar was attended by community health workers, public health nurses, social care workers and team members from addiction and homeless services. This year was the 8th Mouth Cancer Awareness Day in Ireland. Both Dublin Dental University Hospital and Cork Dental School and Hospital had open days where members of the public could access information on the risk factors, signs and symptoms of Mouth Cancer. The visit of the Minister for Health and coverage on the news media meant national reach of the campaign. Let’s Talk About Mouth Cancer looks forward to continuing links with global partners in the fight against mouth cancer
Edinburgh Dental Institute, March 2017
Our team was asked to return to the EDI after missing out in 2016 to provide training and a campaign for the BSc Dental Hygiene/Therapy students. This was very worthwhile, the keen students took on-board the teaching from the morning workshops and delivered quality targeted interventions on mouth cancer to high-risk groups. Kindly arranged by the Minority Ethnic Health Inclusion Service (MEHIS), we split into 3 teams and visited NKS (a mixed South Asian community group), an Bangladeshi Men’s group at the Verandah Restaurant and a Chinese Women’s Group at the Xanadu Restaurant. The people engaged were thankful and asked us to return in the future so other members of their communities may benefit. After the day’s work Professor Victor Lopes gave our lecture “Let’s Talk About HPV” to the assembled audience of dental professionals from the EDI.