To encourage researchers to participate in oral cancer and precancer research: This will certainly enhance the vision of the government of Sri Lanka of increasing the national research cadre significantly within a few years.
To enhance international research collaborations: This will certainly create ample opportunities to collaborate with other leading universities in the world on cancer research.
To create opportunities for research degrees: There is a serious lack of upcoming research degrees from clinical specialities in the country. We target to enrol at least five PhD students per year. Postgraduate students from fields of study such as Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Sciences, Pure Sciences and Molecular Biology will be enrolled in the doctoral programmes. Therefore this will be a good opportunity to build up interfaculty research partnership to enhance the research output.
To improve the standards of high-tech molecular work in the field of oral cancer.
To motivate and train relevant clinicians in early diagnosis of oral cancer and precancer.
To share research knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer between the developed world and Sri Lanka.
To conduct clinical trials, especially for the prevention and treatment of oral precancer and also cancer. This will lessen the economic burden of having to spend a significant portion of health budget to treat oral cancer.
According to the latest statistics in the year of 2010, a total of 16,963 newly diagnosed
cancer patients (Crude incidence rate 82.1/100,000 population) were reported to the
government cancer treatment centers. Cancers in the breast, oral cavity, cervix, ovary,
colon & rectum, oesophagus, thyroid, lungs, prostate gland are among the nine most
common cancers in Sri Lanka in the year 2010. According to the National Cancer Registry
2010, lip, oral cavity and pharyngeal cancer were accountable for 24 % of all reported cancers in men in Sri
Lanka and carrying highest mortality rate among different types of cancers.
National cancer control programme (NCCP) has targeted to reduce the burden of oral
cancer to 15% by the end of 2020 mainly through the primary prevention and early
detection of oral cancer. According to the recent study conducted in the Sabaragamuwa
province of Sri Lanka has shown very low awareness on risk factors and early signs of oral
cancer: 77% of the population unaware about oral pre cancers and 76% were not aware of
any of the dangers inherent in the frequent use of areca nut.
The Centre for Research in Oral Cancer (CROC) at the Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of
Peradeniya was established in the year 2013 to facilitate much needed research on oral cancer. The
Centre works very closely with the National Authority on Alcohol and Tobacco, National Cancer Control
Programme and Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention. In order to reduce the burden of oral
cancer in the country, CROC has a short term and long term strategic plan. We hope to improve the
awareness about the harmful effects of the habit, smokeless tobacco and arecanut among relevant
health professionals, policy makers and more importantly the public of Sri Lanka. This would lay a
platform for us to work on bringing new legislations necessary to restrict these products.
Research in the field of oral cancer is completely inadequate for a country which ranks this malignancy
as number one. Therefore CROC plans to introduce new research in the area of oral cancer and Oral
potentially malignant disorders with multinational collaborations. That will promote postgraduate
opportunities for many students. We hope to update our clinicians who treat oral cancer with regards to
various aspects of the disease from diagnosis to treatment with the new knowledge gain through
research using our patients.