Saving Faces is a registered research charity based at the historic St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in West Smithfield, London. The charity is the brainchild of consultant maxillofacial surgeon, Iain Hutchison, who launched Saving Faces in 2000. Over the years Iain and his colleagues came to realise that very little research was being conducted into the treatment of facial diseases such as oral cancer and that many of the facial injuries they saw everyday could be prevented through education.
There are now more than 40 facial surgeons throughout the United Kingdom collaborating with a team of nine talented Saving Faces researchers. Together they are carrying out groundbreaking work in areas such as the role of selective neck dissection in early oral cancer treatment, the psychological factors in head and neck and gastrointestinal cancer, the prevention of smoking and binge drinking amongst teenagers and the use of microcytoscopy to provide a non-invasive, in-vivo rapid detection tool for oral cancer.
This collaborative approach enables our researchers to answer vital questions more rapidly than even the most famous of single institutions. In addition to the surgeons who volunteer their services, Saving Faces is also fortunate to have patients who are willing to participate in clinical trials to give hope to others who will in future undergo treatment. Former patients are also providing support to newly-diagnosed patients and their families through a support network. The emotional and psychological impact of surgery is often just as traumatic as the procedure itself.
The research we conduct is partly funded by institutional donors but relies heavily on the support of individuals who want to see progress in this much-neglected area of medical research. Many of these donors have themselves experienced the devastating effect of oral cancer or facial injury. With their help and the support of the public we will make a difference to the lives of thousands of people.
At Saving Faces we keep our administrative costs to a minimum. Unlike the majority of charities, our Chief Executive is unpaid and so donors can feel secure in the knowledge that their money goes towards important medical research and the support of patients.