Charitable organization OCCR supports oral cancer patients

Published Date: 05-Feb-2024 | 11:59 AM
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Dr. S. M. Anwar Sadat


Oral Cancer Care and Research (OCCR), a charitable organization (https://occr.org.bd/) was established in 2022. It runs its activities from its temporary office situated at 144 Green Road, Dhaka.

Though the concept and related work for development of committee and registration were started in 2017, the organization opened with its full activities after getting registration from government. A group of doctors started the journey to help the suffering oral cancer patients. Oral cancer is one of the non-communicable diseases which are highly prevalent in Bangladesh like other countries of Indian sub-continent e.g., India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The risk factors of this disease are Pan, Supari (betel nut), Jarda (tobacco), Smoking and Alcohol mostly. Other responsible factors are poor oral hygiene, mal nutrition and sharp teeth. Around 20 percent of whole-body cancers are oral or mouth cancers in this sub-continent. It’s a national health problem now. The prognosis of oral cancer is very poor in advanced cases, but patient can get full life if detected in early stage. Surgery is the best treatment approach for this disease which is done by maxillofacial surgeons and sometimes supported by plastic surgeons for reconstruction. In advance cases, multi-disciplinary approach is preferable with combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy where surgeons and oncologists work together. The role of histopathologists, prosthodontists, general dentists and terminal care professionals are immense.

The purposes of this organization are to service to the humanity and development of science and professionals. The members of the organization are oral and maxillofacial surgeons, dental surgeons, specialists of other dental specialties, oral pathologists, histopathologists, public health specialists etc. The organization got its registration (09926) from Ministry of Social Welfare on 22th February 2022. The executive members are nine in number and general members are 27 in number with four honorable advisors for development of this noble work and organization. The activities of this organization are free dental and oral cancer camps nearby Dhaka, free tooth paste and medicine distribution, awareness to maintain oral hygiene and to prevent oral cancer, free oral cancer surgery, train doctors to become more competent to detect early cancer as well as to do oral cancer surgery efficiently. By this short time, the dedicated volunteers of OCCR did 31 surgeries, 5 awareness and oral cancer screening programme, 5 free dental camps, 8 educational programmes, 4 publications and 1 research project. Oral Cancer Care and Research (OCCR) collaborated with a private hospital (Green Life Hospital), histopathology center, pharmaceutical company to do the surgery free of cost or very minimum cost.

OCCR supports financially to admitted oral cancer patients in Dhaka Dental College Hospital (DDCH) and National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH) to buy medicines and materials for the treatment of oral cancer. The organization is funded willingly by the Executive Members, well-wishers, dental professionals, advisors, companies etc. OCCR has already applied to the ministry of land for approval of non-agricultural demesne government land for construction of charitable hospital for the poor underprivileged oral cancer patients. By the dedicated volunteers, this organization can extend its activities to serve the humanity in a larger scale with the kind support from donors and social workers.

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