RACGP launches new oral cancer learning module

An open laptop displaying the web page of the RACGP oral cancer learning module
Australian Dental Association
20 November 2023
5 min read
Dental practice

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has launched a national GP-targeted new oral cancer learning module, phase two of their Oral cancer Prevention, Screening and Early Detection project which encourages doctors, as a first course of action to refer to a dentist if they notice a suspicious oral lesion. 

Dentists need to be aware that this resource is available as it may trigger an uptick in referrals from GPs and dentists need to be able to ensure that only appropriate referrals are made. 

The new oral cancer learning module is the result of a collaboration between the RACGP and Dental Health Services Victoria which was undertaken “to ensure general practitioners across Australia have the tools they need to detect oral cancer early and save lives.” 

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While this new module is exclusively available to RACGP members, dentists are reminded that learning modules on oral cancer, specifically designed for them and doctors, and to which the ADA contributed, are also available from Head and Neck Cancer Australia

They have been developed so that dentists and GPs have the tools to detect these cancers early so patients are diagnosed and referred to a specialist for further management to improve their outcomes. 

The video-based module, which takes about one hour, was developed by a panel comprising Dr Matthew Magarey, ENT, head and neck surgeon and Dr Felix Sim, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, aims to equip GPs and dentists to do the following: 

- Describe changes in the demographics and trajectory in head and neck cancer epidemiology. 

- Identify specific signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer in comparison to non-malignant lesions. 

- Select the optimal referral pathway for patients with suspected head and neck cancer. 

- Outline the unique long term survivorship support needs of people living with head and neck cancer. 

- Perform oral and extraoral examinations to screen for oral and related malignancies. 

All healthcare professionals can register and enrol in the module and will receive a certificate on completion. 

Explore the modules