Dental Curriculum Threads

Blood and Cancer

Course Director: David Dean and Mark Shubert
Credits: 3
Quarters/Yr of Program: Spring / 1

Course Overview

This overview of Hematology and Oncology addresses the biology of bone marrow and blood and introduction into the multidisciplinary field of cancer medicine. Specific cancer subtypes provide illustrative examples of the impact of molecular biology and environmental risk factors on the development and treatment of malignancy. There will be emphasis on head and neck cancer and the oral complications of cancer therapy.

Learning Objectives

The student who successfully completes this course will be able to:

  1. Describe the key properties of hematopoietic stem cells and be able to outline the process of hematopoiesis from initial stem cell division through terminal differentiation.
  2. Differentiate cells in the erythroid, myeloid and lymphoid lineages and describe their basic functions.
  3. Identify factors that inhibit clot formation.
  4. Provide a general overview of the clotting cascade including the intrinsic, extrinsic, and common pathways.
  5. Recognize signs and symptoms of abnormal hemostasis.
  6. Outline a preoperative plan, including appropriate laboratory tests, to assess a patient’s bleeding risk related to common dental procedures.
  7. Compare and contrast the cellular characteristics and growth behavior of normal cells versus benign neoplastic cells versus malignant cells.
  8. List the more common acquired risk factors for cancer including exposure to carcinogens, viruses, and radiation.
  9. Describe the body’s natural defenses against cancer and how these defenses can be compromised in immunosuppressed patients.
  10. Describe the biologic principles and application of cancer chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer.
  11. Summarize modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for head & neck cancer.
  12. List various malignancies that a dentist may encounter in general practice during head & neck, intraoral, and radiographic examinations.
  13. Describe the basic objectives of head & neck cancer surgery, radiation therapy (with or without chemotherapy), and hematopoietic cell transplantation in the treatment of cancers manifesting in the head & neck.
  14. Describe the potential oral complications of head & neck cancer surgery, radiation therapy (with or without chemotherapy), and hematopoietic cell transplantation and the dentist’s role in managing these complications.

UWSOD Competencies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13, 15

Date last updated: 2018-05-01