Through funding from the United Health Foundation, the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry is carrying out the grant, “Eradicate Oral Cancer in Eastern Kentucky." Funding from this grant has made it possible to produce two free CE courses for healthcare providers to learn more about oral cancer and how to treat tobacco addiction.

Kentucky has the highest rate of oral cancer in the nation. Nearly two-thirds of oral cancer cases are found late when the survival rates are low and treatment sequelae are devastating. It is important for healthcare providers to learn the signs and symptoms of oral cancer as well as how to conduct an oral cancer screening. The first CE course in this series, Update on Oral Cancer for Health Professionals, equips providers with this knowledge so that they can find oral cancer cases early and decrease morbidity and mortality in their patients. It is important that health care providers outside of dentistry help dental professionals in finding oral cancer, especially in Kentucky where the rate of oral cancer is so high.

The second course, Tobacco Treatment Update for Health Professionals, addresses the main risk factor for oral cancer, tobacco. Kentucky has the second-highest rate of adult smoking in the nation and has been deemed the worst state in the nation for youth tobacco use. This CE course provides practical clinical advice for providers to assist their patients in quitting tobacco. Evidence-based strategies for treatment with medication as well as motivational interviewing techniques will help providers feel more comfortable in addressing tobacco use in their patients.

For more information on oral cancer visit ukdentistry.org/oral-cancer. If you are interested in oral cancer resources or tobacco cessation resources, please contact Dr. Pam Stein VanArsdall at pam.stein@uky.edu