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Oral cancer: update for the dental team

BDJ Team volume 5, Article number: 18100 (2018) | Download Citation

A book review by Z. C. Sullivan, first published in the BDJ (2018; 224: 477)

This textbook by Nicholas Kalavrezos and Crispian Scully covers the topic of oral cancer in a concise but detailed manner. The book certainly achieves its aim: to update the dental team, enhancing their knowledge on the many aspects of care and management that oral cancer encompasses. The chapters covering the risk factors for oral cancer will help dental team members to advise and aid patients in the cessation of habits which may prove detrimental to their oral and general health.

The layout of this book provides the reader with the necessary information in a logical manner. The opening chapter introduces the pathogenesis of cancer by introducing the reader to the cellular, histological and molecular changes that occur in the disease process. This is followed by three detailed chapters on the risk factors of oral cancer, which will enrich all clinicians who aim to promote preventative advice. The chapters which cover ‘potentially malignant disorders’ and referral guidance assist the identification of lesions which may require referral to a specialist. It also encompasses the UK referral guidelines in a precise manner.

In the chapters that cover oral cancer treatment and the patient care team, the authors efficiently summarise the relevant information to convey the patient journey. Such chapters would be of interest to any dental team member, however, they would be most beneficial to any dental core trainee that was undertaking a post in maxillofacial surgery, in a unit that treats head and neck cancer. The radiotherapy and chemotherapy aspects of oral cancer are also introduced to the reader, along with relevant complications that may present to dental clinicians.

Overall, the book fulfils its purpose entirely in updating the dental team on oral cancer; however, I would say it goes beyond its suggested intention. I feel that the book is probably best suited to those pursuing a career in oral medicine but each member of the dental team has knowledge to gain from reading some or all of this text.

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