NATION

Mehwish Receives International Recognition For Dental Research

A final-year dental stu­dent has earned appre­ciation and recognition for her research on dental health issues at the Interna­tional Association for Dental Research in Perth, Australia. Mehwish Dean, a 23-year-old
28 Nov 2018 11:00
Mehwish Receives International Recognition For Dental Research
Mehwish Dean.

A final-year dental stu­dent has earned appre­ciation and recognition for her research on dental health issues at the Interna­tional Association for Dental Research in Perth, Australia.

Mehwish Dean, a 23-year-old of the Fiji National Universi­ty’s College of Medicine, Nurs­ing and Health Sciences was one of the six FNU students presenting their research at the association’s 58th Annual Scientific Meeting in Septem­ber.

The focus of her research re­vealed the prevalence of mouth cancer among the Fijian popu­lation.

The mouth cancer known as Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) is a common tumour of the mouth that typically affects elderly men and women.

Her research was titled “Prev­alence of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) at Colo­nial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) Suva, Fiji Islands, 2011-2015”. It was conducted over a year between May 2017 to July 2018.

While there, she also repre­sented FNU at the Undergradu­ate Colgate poster competi­tion- ANZ Division and was the second runner-up among 15 international schools.

“It was a great opportunity and I was overwhelmed to re­ceive such a chance to present my research,” she said.

“It gave us students more in­sight in future career opportu­nities and the importance of research and development.”

Oral Squamous Cell Carci­noma (OSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide.

The exact cause is unknown however it has been associated with tobacco and alcohol con­sumption, human papilloma virus and other predisposing factors.

Ms Dean’s research indicated that there were 74 Oral Squa­mous Cell Carcinoma cases diagnosed during the five-year study period.

“Fiji does not have any re­cords on cancer registry on Globocan, simply because there have been no available data in this field,” she said.

“I plan to continue this study and provide new and updated data that could help the Min­istry of Health (and Medical Services) raise awareness and plan prevention strategies on this life-threatening condi­tion.”

She said oral health was most­ly overlooked by people until there was a need for tooth ex­traction.

“Early detection through screening and relatively inex­pensive treatment can avert most severe cases,” she said.

“Preventing tobacco and al­cohol use and increasing the consumption of fruits and veg­etables can also potentially pre­vent the vast majority of oral cancers.”

Ms Dean graduate in Decem­ber after completing her five-year study in Bachelor of Den­tal Surgery.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: neelam.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

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