CFDF, HKU Promoting Artificial Intelligence in the early detection of Oral Cancer
Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation in collaboration with the division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong organised a One Day Oral Cancer Training with the theme: “the use of Artificial Intelligence in the early detection of oral cancer and premalignant disorders (OPMDs)” recently in Abuja.
The programme converged well meaning Nigerians, including: Dentist, dental consultant, dental auxiliaries and Allied Oral Health Professionals.
Declaring the event open, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, represented by Dr. Gloria Uzoigwe, said, oral health is very important and urged Nigerians to be conscious of their oral hygiene.
The Minister who promised to create more awareness on Oral Cancer also promised to partner with oral health care Professionals.
He said that oral health has a significant impact on our health. Also, 764 mortality cases have been recorded in oral Cancer.
According to him, “the Ministry of Health has started a pilot training on oral Cancer in Nasarawa State, this will extend to other states.”
He expressed appreciation to the University of Honkong Faculty of Dentistry and Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation (CFDF) Abuja for the one day oral Cancer Training and the use of Artificial Intelligence in oral Cancer treatment.
Briefing the Media on the significance of Artificial Intelligence in Oral Cancer detection and treatment
Dr. Seidu Adebayo Bello, a Consultant and Maxillofacial Surgeon, who is also the Executive Director Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation, said AI gives more than 90% accuracy for oral cancer prevention. It makes it easier for practitioners to identify early detection and cure.
Buttressing on AI in Nigeria, he said, “it is on the rudimentary stage. Adding that worldwide AI is just coming up. It’s usefulness is being exploited in different aspects of medicine as well as other aspects of science. It is used in reading human minds just as we have seen in the social media.”
“Development of AI in oral cancer treatment is part of what we are doing.
“Interestingly, University of Honkong and Britain carried out a study or research and they have a link that is validated which is coordinated by Dr. Adeoye. This is why we are partnering with them.”
“You can imput information from patient into system and predict future oral cancer occurrence.”
“We are promoting the link, disseminating information about AI and oral cancer.” Dr Bello said.
Speaking on Oro-Facial Cancer Management, Prof. Fadekemi Olufunmilayo OGINNI, Department of OMS Faculty of Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, said Orofacial cancers is a group of diverse malignancies that affect the soft and hard tissues of the maxillofacial region. These includes: Epithelial origin (carcinomas), Mesenchymal tissues (sarcomas), Of Haemato-lymphoid tissues (leukaemias, lymphomas etc)
Adding that Oral Cancer is any malignant neoplasm occurring on the lips (both vermillion border and oral aspect) and within the oral cavity (including the anterior 2/3 of the tongue, buccal and labial mucosa, gingiva, hard palate, retromolar pad and floor of the mouth) – WHO(ICD-10)
In her words:
“Orofacial cancers are important causes of mortality in Nigeria. Late presentation is still very common. Management is multidisciplinary, cost intensive and largely unaffordable and % 5 Year survival rate 20%.
Prevention is absolutely desirable -Primary prevention About 70% die from their disease.
Prevent occurrence through good Oral hygiene, eliminating Carcinogens and stop habits and use of implicated substances.
Secondary prevention includes: Screen to Identify asymptomatic individuals at high risk or with the disease, Early detection, Identify early cases and present for treatment. Also, Early referral, or Clinicians referral to appropriate specialist.
In addition, Tertiary prevention involve; treating the lesion, doing all you can and aiming at giving cure” Prof. Fadekemi said.
In 2022, the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Faculty of Dentistry, HKU initiated a collaboration with the Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation (CFDF), Abuja to promote the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for early detection of oral cancer in Nigeria which earned generous support from the HKU Knowledge Exchange Funding Scheme for Strategic Impact.
The aim is to create awareness about oral cancer and facilitate early detection in Nigeria.