UP Joins Online Regional Workshop On Oral Cancer

Recently Dean Callum Durward of the Faculty of Dentistry joined the Asia Pacific Oral Cancer Network(APOCNET) online 3-day workshop with participants from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Nepal and Indonesia. This meeting follows the inaugural meeting which was held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2019.

APOCNET was established to address the high prevalence of oral cancer cases in Asia, which appears to be on the rise. Oral cancer is amenable to early detection through visual oral examination, yet in many Asian countries, including Cambodia, the disease presents at a late stage and consequently has poor outcomes. The issues around oral cancer are similar across Asia‐Pacific countries, and therefore strategies to address these could be more effective if there was more collaboration between the countries.

The workshop discussed how to improve engagement and collaboration between stakeholders in oral cancer detection and management, focusing on 4 different priority research areas:

  1. Tobacco and areca (betel) nut control – to address the two main risk factors for oral cancer.
  2. Establishing oral cancer registries in each country – to provide accurate information on the incidence of oral cancer, which can be monitored over time to detect trends and support planning for interventions.
  3. MeMoSA – “Mobile Mouth Screening Anywhere for Early Detection of Oral Cancer” a mobile phone App that enables early detection of mouth cancer in rural areas by healthcare professionals.

The three Cambodian participants in the workshop took part in discussions on these collaborative research projects, and it is hoped that once implemented they can contribute towards reducing the oral cancer burden in Cambodia and the region.