Approximately 1 in 800 British Columbians have a precancerous area in their mouth. These areas pose a challenge for clinicians – how to identify which of these areas will progress to oral cancer. There is a need to develop methods to aid in the early detection and management of these areas to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Next Gen Oral Prevention and Screening Community Clinic
The Next Gen Oral Prevention and Screening Community Clinic is the result of the continuing evolution of the BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program (BC OCPP). Over the past 17 years the BC OCPP’s Oral Cancer Prevention Longitudinal Study has followed hundreds of patients with oral cancer and oral premalignant disease. One of the team’s most significant discoveries has been the identification of molecular markers associated with the progression of OPL to cancer.
The Next Gen Oral Prevention and Screening Community Clinic will apply this new technology to assess risk of patients with low -grade premalignant disease. Dental and other health professionals can refer directly to this clinic at no cost to the patient. This clinic will follow patients with high-risk premalignant disease including patients from underserved communities, provide high-quality follow-up, and provide a venue for research.
The Next Gen Clinic will also focus on education and capacity building. The clinic is in an ideal position to bridge between science and patient care and will offer the opportunity for students and professionals to learn more about oral cancer and screening.
Currently we have 2 clinic sites, the UBC Frontier Clinical Research Centre and the Pacific Oral Health Centre (POHC) in South Surrey (opens May, 2016). The UBC site is an ideal location to engage students and other health professionals, while the Surrey location will allow us to form a partnership with the South Asian community.
Some of the highest oral cancer rates in the world are in South Asian countries due to habits such as chewing betel quid and smokeless tobacco, in addition to smoking and alcohol use. Using data from the BC Cancer Registry we found a much higher incidence of oral cancer in South Asian women and men, than in the general population. South Asians currently account for 10% of the population in BC and with anticipated further immigration a corresponding increase in oral cancer is expected. It is time to develop an oral cancer screening intervention and public awareness program tailored for this high-risk population.
Mission and Vision Statement of the Next Gen Oral Prevention and Screening Community Clinic
To advance the prevention and management of oral lesions across British Columbia through the delivery of outstanding education, research and clinical services and to develop a Centre of Excellence that will be globally recognized for novel solutions to preventing this disease through empowerment of community oral health professionals and the collaborative linkage of these professionals across disciplines to create an environment for optimal oral health and well-being.
The Next Gen Oral Prevention and Screening Community Clinic will be guided by, and operate according to, the following core values: fostering of collaboration and professionalism; shared responsibility for prevention of oral cancer; translational, transparent, patient-first focus: responsibility; accountability: problem-solving; communication; cross-cultural skills/sensitivity results orientated team-work and excellence.
Our goal is to reduce the barriers to oral cancer screening and the prevention and early detection of oral cancer and pre-cancer.
Next Gen Oral Dysplasia Clinic
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