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New Test May Provide Key to Oral Cancer Detection

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New Test May Provide Key to Oral Cancer Detection

New Test May Provide Key to Oral Cancer Detection

June 04, 2007
By: Erin Moore for Dental1

The FDA has approved a device that will allow dentists to better detect and treat oral cancer. Not only does the VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System by LED Dental Inc. facilitate the recognition of lesions that are not visible via conventional screening methods, but it also helps dentists ensure that all diseased tissue is removed during surgery.
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Some Other Tips for Preventing Oral Cancer:
  • Cancer of the lip can be caused by sun exposure. Use a lotion or lip balm with sunscreen.
  • Check your mouth and tongue for bumps and changes in color. Use your fingers to feel for lumps or tender spots.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for oral cancer screenings.

  • Oral cancer is often detected at a late stage, when it has spread to other parts of the body and become difficult to treat. Only about half of the thirty-four thousand Americans who will develop oral cancer in 2007 will be alive in five years. At the same time, when caught early (like many other cancers), oral cancer is highly treatable, with five year survival rates surpassing 80 percent. Thus, detection is crucial to reduce the high mortality associated with this disease.

    The typical oral cancer patient is over 40 years of age and a heavy user of alcohol and tobacco products. However, patients without these characteristics are increasing at alarming rates. Some experts speculate this trend is due in part to a strain of the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is thought to trigger oral cancer.

    Tobacco use accounts for most oral cancers. Avoid using tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco or dipping snuff. Alcohol use is perhaps the second-largest risk factor. Try to limit your intake to one to two drinks per day.

    Source: Business Wire, April 2007

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