Oral Cancer Prevention: An Important Free Learning Resource

by Richard Cook, BDS. FDS, PhD

The prevention of oral cancer has been a key topic in oral health care for many years, as many oral cancer patients still present de novo at an advanced stage, often thereby jeopardising their ultimate prognosis. Lesion size at presentation remains a key factor in management outcome. Similarly, the main etiological factors still remain present, especially tobacco in its many different forms, alcohol consumption and increasingly mucosal infections associated with HPV serotypes 16 and 18 in particular.

As part of a international workshop on Prevention of Oral Cancer, held in Romania in 2019, a group of European researchers and authors supported by the ERO (European Regional Organisation) of the FDI World Dental Federation, presented an e-book (see Fig 1), targeting the entire range of oral health-care providers, in order to meet the multitude of needs for in-depth knowledge regarding epidemiology, prevention and screening for oral cancers.

Fig. 1

As part of the intention of the project from its inception, the book is an open access learning resource, free for all to use and is found at

A large number of oral medicine and oral surgery clinicians from multiple hospital and university centres were involved sharing their experiences, presenting multiple clinical cases to illustrate the issues at hand. The book addresses prevention and management strategies for most oral cancers, across primary secondary and tertiary disease phases, including late complications post treatment and how can this be addressed and risks reduced. The manuscript highlights dental and oral health-care practice staff as some of the most important care providers globally for early recognition and detection; the vital key to patients’ extent of surgery and survival from their oral cancer. Multiple preventive measures are presented, including the often omitted role of education to patients about high risk factors and behaviours, protocols for early detection as well as interdisciplinary management strategies for patients with suspected malignancies or those diagnosed with oral cancer.

The volume has reached a large number of European clinicians and has been translated to Portuguese by the “Associação Brasileira de Cirurgiões Dentistas”. We recommend this intentionally free resource to our colleagues across the globe as a valuable asset in training, refreshing and developing the oral healthcare teams’ role in prevention and early detection of oral cancer, saving both lives and quality of lives post cancer treatments. The same group are preparing more books following the same format and will update the journal when they are ready for release.

Oral Health welcomes this original article.

About the Author

Richard Cook, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Oral Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London.