Article: Volume 45 Number 11 Page 1057 - December 2018

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  Dent Update 2018; 45: 1057-1062

Medicine in Dentistry:  Head and Neck Skin Cancers and Where to Find Them – a Quality Improvement Project

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Abstract: This article is a summary of a three-stage quality improvement project aimed to raise awareness and provide basic knowledge for the early identification and appropriate referral of suspicious skin lesions. The results of this project may indicate that not enough attention is given to these lesions in undergraduate teaching, thus indicating the requirement for change. This article aims to raise awareness of the increasing prevalence of skin cancers whilst providing information of the basic signs, symptoms and clinical features for clinicians to look out for during their examination and consultation.

Clinical relevance: Dental surgeons are in a prime position to aid in the identification and referral of suspicious skin lesions due to exposure to the head and neck area on a regular basis.

Author notes: Neil V Shah, BDS(Bris), MFDS RCS(Ed), Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery SHO, Prince Charles Hospital, Daniel Ashworth, FDS, FRCS(OMFS), Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Prince Charles Hospital, Nick Moran, BDS Wales, FDS RCS(Eng), FFD RCS(Ire), Consultant Oral Surgeon, Prince Charles Hospital, Gurnos Road, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 9DT, Anjani Holmes, BDS(Hons) (Lond), MFDS RCS(Eng), Specialty Doctor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Cwm Taf University Health Board, Wales, UK.

Objective: To appreciate the importance of early identification of suspicious skin lesions with the aid of a clinical toolkit.

GSK