Oral Cancer

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Speaker(s): Saman Warnakulasuriya
CPD Time: 2 hours
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
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This video will present an overview of the pathogenesis of oral cancer and its diagnosis and prevention for the dental team to gain new and refresh knowledge in the field of oral cancer. It will focus on recognising the signs and symptoms of oral cancer and precancer aiding in early diagnosis.

The annual incidence of oral and oropharyngeal cancer has been slowly increasing in the UK for the past two and half decades. The proportion surviving from oral cancer is around 50% largely attributable to late stages of diagnosis. The dental team needs to be aware of high risk patients and the different forms of presentation of the disease to enable change of practice to improve outcomes. A full examination of the oral soft tissue is an essential component of every routine dental examination.

The GDC have recognised the need for improvements in early detection of oral cancer and consequently have made this a recommended core subject for CPD. This video is suitable for the whole dental team, will meet GDC requirements.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and precancer
  • Have knowledge of the risk factors associated with oral cancer to be able to identify patients at high risk
  • To update skills on screening for oral cancer in dental practice, have an appreciation of different clinical presentations and know the criteria for urgent referral following the NICE guidelines
  • Be able to communicate with your patients how oral cancer can be prevented


Saman Warnakulasuriya OBE, BDS, FDSRCS, Dip Oral Med, PhD, DSc

Saman Warnakulasuriya is Professor of Oral Medicine at King’s College and a consultant to two NHS Trusts in London based at King’s and Guy’s Hospitals. He has published over 175 scientific peer reviewed articles and lectured extensively on the subject of oral cancer and precancer from the levels of basic science to the management. He is an authority on global aspects on risk factors and screening for oral cancer, having conducted several field surveys in different population groups. He is the director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Oral Cancer and Precancer in the United Kingdom and is on the editorial boards of Oral Oncology, Oral Pathology and Medicine, International Journal of Clinical Dentistry and Head and Neck Oncology. He was the principal investigator of an epidemiological study on oral cancer in young people, the largest reported so far from Europe. He was the President of BDA Metropolitan Branch in 2012 and a scientific advisor to the Ben Walton Trust.

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