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Oral Cancer

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 12160, tabled on 8 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Cancer Research's projection that oral cancer will rise by 33% in the UK from 2014 to 2035, whether his Department has made an assessment of the (a) potential merits of increasing patients’ awareness of the dental services available to support the diagnosis of oral cancer and (b) importance of those services.

Answered on

18 June 2021

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

No assessment has been made. Whilst dentists play a valuable role in detecting potential oral cancers through dental check-ups. Patients with concerns should seek advice from their dentist or general practitioner.

Original answer

No assessment has been made. Whilst dentists can play an ad hoc role in detecting potential oral cancers as a by-product of dental check-ups, oral cancer is primarily detected through the medical system. The Department currently has no plans to promote dentist appointments for the specific purpose of oral cancer diagnosis. Patients with concerns should seek advice from their general practitioner and not wait for their next dental appointment.