Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Damon Adams, DDS


April, Oral Cancer Awareness Month, presents us with the opportunity to self-reflect on our profound responsibilities as dental professionals. Are you doing everything possible to reduce the deaths and the lifetime effects that this disease has on its survivors and loved ones? Do you perform regular and thorough oral cancer screenings? Do you regularly use adjunctive technologies to maximize the effectiveness and accuracy of oral cancer screenings; eg, (1) devices that help identify and better visualize oral mucosal abnormalities, and/or (2) brush biopsy technology, and/or (3) the latest risk stratification testing using discriminatory salivary biomarkers? Hopefully, all our readers can answer “Yes!” to these important questions.

Please consider taking 5 minutes to go online to read “When an Oral Cancer Diagnosis Hits Home” by Magdelena Groza, RDH. In this heart-wrenching story, she shares her experience with oral cancer. Magdelena is a dental hygienist who was diagnosed with a stage IV oral tumor after being misdiagnosed by 9 dentists and 2 oral surgeons, who all said in so many words that it was “just a cyst.” Her story hit me squarely in the gut and the heart, begging the following question: What must the human toll of oral cancer be to motivate all dental professionals to take all possible necessary and timely steps required to prevent, detect, diagnose, and, when found, properly treat this dreaded and devastating disease at the earliest possible stage?

This month, we have an exciting lineup of clinicians who are presenting case report articles dealing with a variety of clinical topics. We truly appreciate the fact that we have dedicated professionals who are willing to share their own work so that others can learn and benefit from their experiences.

We hope that you will consider partaking in the CE offerings that we proudly present every month, including our formally peer-reviewed selection for 2 FAGD/MAGD CEUs. This month, that article, authored by Dr. Richard Miron et al, presents the history, status, and clinical uses for platelet-rich fibrin therapy.

Please enjoy this exciting issue of Dentistry Today!