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Letters Increase in oral cancers in UK

Teledentistry may help in detecting oral cancers in current GP and dentist shortages

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 01 March 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q512
  1. Paula Bradley, GP1,
  2. Jennifer Deane, research assistant2,
  3. James O’Hara, consultant otolaryngologist head and neck surgeon3,
  4. Matt Kennedy, consultant oral maxillofacial and head and neck surgeon3,
  5. Vinicius C Carrard, associate professor (oral pathology and medicine)4,
  6. Sok Ching Cheong, deputy chief scientific officer5,
  7. Linda Sharp, professor of cancer epidemiology2
  1. 1Fenham Hall Medical Group, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  4. 4School of Dentistry, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
  5. 5Cancer Research Malaysia, Malaysia
  1. paula.bradley{at}

Referrals to head and neck surgeons for suspected oral cancer are generally higher from areas of socioeconomic deprivation. Here, lifestyle risk factors like smoking and alcohol consumption are more prevalent yet NHS dental provision is poorest.1

Arguably because of the comparative ease of access, referrals for oral cancers in England have been shown to originate from GPs more than from dentists,2 particularly …

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