CDA Essentials 2017 • Volume 3 • Issue 4

25 Volume 3 Issue 4 | N ews and E vents premalignant oral lesions are likely to become malignant, and could change how dentists treat patients. “We’ll be better equipped to decide how aggressively or not we manage a premalignant lesion. We’re right on the edge of some pretty exciting discoveries,” enthused Dr. Hovan. “At the end of the day the use of biomarkers has the potential to have the biggest impact on morbidity and ultimately mortality.” Awareness and Advocacy The forum also allowed participants to hear about public awareness campaigns from around the world, including the blue ribbon campaign in the UK; the Argentinian “poke your tongue at oral cancer” campaign which includes self-examination instructions and free professional examinations; and a cookbook published by the Spanish national dental council that promotes healthy eating as a way to prevent oral cancer. Next Steps Inspired by the sessions and discussions with peers from around the world, Dr. Saunders went home with a clear goal in mind. “We hope to be up on the podium at the next forum presenting what Canadian dentists have done in oral cancer awareness, our clinical tobacco interventions with our patients, and our advocacy efforts with the right stakeholders to ensure they endorse our initiatives.” The event also resonated strongly with Dr. Hovan: “We have this great opportunity to work across the country to improve outcomes. Like Dr. Saunders, my mind is spinning with ideas of what we could do better in Canada!” a References 1. Canadian Cancer Society [Internet]. Oral cavity cancer statistics; 2016 [accessed 2016 Apr 15]. Available from: cancer-information/cancer-type/oral/statistics 2. Oral Cancer Canada [Internet]. 2016 [accessed 2016 Apr 15]. Available from: 3. Canadian Cancer Society [Internet]. Survival statistics for oral cavity cancer; 2016 [accessed 2016 Apr 15]. Available from: cancer. ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/oral/prognosis-and- survival/survival-statistics Dr. Ross Kerr, chair of the Global Oral Cancer Forum’s organizing committee, initiated a public outreach project called Faces of Oral Cancer . He partnered with renowned Swiss photographers Mathias Braschler and Monika Fischer ( ) , who specialize in portrait photography. “He asked us if we would be interested to show the faces of oral cancer,” Braschler explained. “The idea is to use the photos for an awareness campaign.” The result of this collaboration? An incredibly powerful collection of photographs of cancer patients and survivors from India, England and the United States. As Dr. Kerr explained, the photographs will soon be accompanied by short vignettes explaining the patients’ journeys. Braschler and Fisher, who did not know much about oral cancer prior to working on this project, were surprised by the strength and courage showed by the patients, especially considering how one’s face is closely tied our sense of self. “If you have oral cancer there’s a certain chance your face will be altered. These are things that leave traces and taking portraits of these people has deeply touched us,” Braschler said. He was particularly moved by a woman they photographed in London. She had been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer and surgeons had to remove 90% of her tongue. “She showed such extraordinary strength in handling it and keeping moving on,” he remembers. “You can go through incredible hardship and still keep your dignity.” The Faces of Oral Cancer To learn more about global oral cancer trends, visit Oasis Discussions to watch the Epidemiology of Oral Cancer presentation by Dr. Newell Johnson, chair of the forum’s epidemiology group. Photo credit: braschler/fischer