Oral cancer is an important global health problem. The disease has a high mortality rate (~63% 5-year survival) mainly due to the advanced stage at which it is diagnosed. In Canada, oral cancer is the ninth most common cancer affecting about 4700 people a year, while in some areas of the world, such as in India and Sri Lanka, it is one of the most common cancers. Oral cancer screening is a quick, painless, and non-invasive exam of the head, neck, and oral cavity that is generally provided opportunistically at dental offices. However, 17% of Canadians do not access regular dental care due to cost. There is an important health inequity in oral health care; people without access to regular dental care are often in the greatest need. People unable to access oral health care do not have the option to receive opportunistic oral cancer screening. New immigrants may face similar challenges due to limited income, lack of dental insurance, and barriers to accessing dental care. This project studies oral cancer screening within the community with an emphasis on underserved and high-risk communities.
BC Cancer Foundation is the fundraising partner of BC Cancer, which includes BC Cancer Research. Together with our donors, we are changing cancer outcomes for British Columbians by funding innovative research and personalized treatment and care.