Aug 16, 2011

Early Diagnosis of Oral Cancer

In this Project report we have taken the opportunity to let our supporters know about ways in which their money is being used by Saving Faces to improve the early diagnosis of mouth cancer

This year the Facial Surgery Research Foundation-Saving Faces is launching an innovative diagnostic service for the early detection of mouth cancer. The Saving Faces Diagnostic Advice Service or SFDADS will be available to dentists and other primary care health service providers. Participating dentists will have the facility to upload patient details and electronic images of suspect lesions onto a dedicated secure system. Diagnostic advice will be provided within three working days by consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

The Saving Faces Diagnostic Advice Service will reduce the anxiety that occurs with an inappropriate referral. Early diagnosis and rapid referral of cancerous lesions will lead to improved treatment outcomes. Early detection of mouth cancer improves the chance of cure with simple, quick and less debilitating treatment and most importantly improves the chances of patients retaining good speech and appearance and a normal diet.

Despite awareness campaigns, 50% of patients have still never heard that cancer can occur in the mouth. Saving Faces will endeavor to increase awareness through posters and advertising.


Development of a diagnostic test for early mouth cancer

This study aims to develop a sensitive, reliable and fast cancer diagnostic test for mouth cancer by using a new gene quantification method which can detect the presence of cancer cells by measuring the levels of cancer-causing genes in tissue biopsy samples. Mouth cancer affects over 5,500 people every year in the UK and has higher death rates than cancers of the colon, breast, vulva or melanoma. The number of mouth cancer cases has increased significantly (>20%) over the last decade especially in younger adults for both sexes. Despite improvements in chemotherapy and surgical techniques, ~50% of mouth cancer patients still die from the disease partly due to incomplete removal of cancer cells during surgical treatment. A reliable diagnostic test would enable clinicians to give appropriate tailored treatment which will make a real difference to patients.


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Saving Faces

London, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Project Leader

Louise Lemoine

Liaison Officer
London, United Kingdom

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