Inadequate Health Literacy for Oral Cancer

Poor health literacy leads to delayed diagnosis. Oral cancer is survivable when diagnosed early. However, due to a lack of education about this disease, most people are diagnosed in the advanced stages when the quality-of-life compromises increase significantly.

How do you combat inadequate health literacy? Provide information that is simple, concise and visually attractive. The Six-Step Screening poster has six pictures of what the oral cancer screening entails and six bullet points about the most common signs and symptoms of the disease. In a gold circle, it emphasizes that oral health means more than clean teeth. And, a call-to-action if you have a suspicious area: Inform your dentist.

If dental professionals aren’t educating patients, then who will? When a patient is informed about the signs of oral cancer, and has an abnormality in their mouth, they will feel comforted knowing their dental practice will rule out cancer first and foremost.

How are patients educated in your dental practice?

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