East Kilbride dental patient launches petition calling for free care for cancer sufferers in Scotland

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A dental patient from East Kilbride has launched a petition for free dental care for cancer sufferers in Scotland. 

Mags McNeil decided to start the petition after experiencing dental issues while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. She developed tooth pain 15 days into her treatment, and soon, the discomfort was so severe that she had to see an emergency dentist. Mags ended up having two teeth removed, and she had an infection in her jaw, which meant that she had to delay a further course of chemotherapy.

Mags was shocked to find that not all cancer patients have access to free dental treatment, despite the fact that the connection between dental issues and chemotherapy is well-documented. In light of her experiences, she is now calling for the government to make sure that everyone who is undergoing chemotherapy is able to access free NHS dental treatment. 

Speaking about the petition, Mags said that the NHS caters for pregnant women, as pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of gum disease, so it makes sense to protect and care for those who are vulnerable to dental problems as a result of chemotherapy. The petition is urging ministers to provide free dental care for patients for up to five years after diagnosis, or for life in incurable cases. 

The Scottish Government currently has a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to provide emotional and practical support, and Mags is hoping that ministers will now consider investing in free dental provision.

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