Augusta University, The Dental College of Georgia
C.O.P.E. (Comprehensive Oral health Promotion & Education) with Cancer
Oral complications are the norm, not the exception, for patients undergoing cancer treatment, regardless of the type of cancer. Thanks to the DTA Foundation grant funding, C.O.P.E. With Cancer aims to increase patient awareness on the importance of proper oral care during cancer treatment and to help physicians and dentists be better equipped in handling the oral needs of cancer patients. C.O.P.E. will open a line of communication between physicians of the Georgia Regents University (GRU) Cancer Center and the oral health professionals of the GRU College of Dental Medicine (CDM) with plans to expand to the community at large.
This unique dental student-run program will fulfill their community service/outreach graduation requirement while at the same time educating a wide range of individuals on this important health care issue. The primary goal with patients is to increase awareness on dental issues that arise during and after cancer treatment, as well as the importance of addressing these problems as a way of improving one’s prognosis. The program will provide patients and support groups at the GRU Cancer Center with informative brochures, open-source videos, and referrals to CDM, so that they can obtain top-notch oral care without undergoing further financial stress. This partnership will also facilitate dental student exposure to these complex cases and increase student competency on the issue. Dentists from the surrounding areas will receive a comprehensive, evidence-based informational packet on how to manage patients undergoing cancer treatment.