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ADA spotlights oral cancer

February 27, 2019

New resources on oral cancer are now available at

The ADA is offering 2.5 hours of continuing education credit for the course, Oral Cancer Screening and Radiotherapy Morbidity Management, from Drs. Theresa Hofstede and Mark Lingen. The course, which was featured at ADA 2018, explains how dentists play a critical role in the early detection of premalignant lesions and management of radiation sequela.

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive visual tactile exam and develop a differential diagnosis of common oral lesions.
  • Discuss the findings of the ADA’s oral cancer screening guidelines.
  • Define the role of dental professionals in identifying and managing radiotherapy related morbidities.

The course costs $73 for ADA members and $123 for nonmembers. Register on the ADA website. The course is also included in the ADA CE Online Subscription package. For $119 ADA members have access to the full ADA CE Online Library. Visit

The ADA Division of Science has also updated its Oral Health Topics page on head and neck cancer.

Diagram of the side of a human head indicating the locations of various regions of the oropharynx
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The new page highlights the differences between oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Dentists who visit the page and click on the “Introduction Tab” will see a table with a side-by-side description of the anatomic distinctions between the two as well as an accompanying diagram.

The page includes updated information on HPV and HPV vaccination. In 2018, the ADA House of Delegates adopted Resolution 53H-2018, which stated that the vaccination is a “safe and effective intervention to decrease the burden of oral and oropharyngeal HPV infection,” citing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

In the “Other Resources” section, there are links to materials from the American Cancer Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, CDC and the National Cancer Institute.