New Saliva Test may Help Identify Oral Cancer Earlier

New Saliva Test may Help Identify Oral Cancer Earlier

Around the world, about half a million people are newly diagnosed with oral cancer each year. That’s nowhere near the incidence of lung or breast cancer — but oral cancer is associated with another ominous statistic: After diagnosis, its five-year survival rate is only a little better than 50/50 — and that rate hasn’t improved significantly in decades.

Having a professional oral cancer screening once or twice per year, along with performing your own monthly self-checks, improves the chances of detecting signs of the oral pathology early, when cancer is easier to beat. However, for some patients, symptoms don’t become noticeable until the later stages, when treatment can be more challenging. A new saliva test done by dentist near 19136 may provide a way to address this problem in the future. Dentist in Philadelphia suggests that in recent years, saliva has become a valuable diagnostic tool.

New Saliva Test Shows Promise in Oral Cancer Screening

If oral surgeons had an improved method to determine a patient’s risk of having this type of cancer, it would be easier to decide when a biopsy is needed. Today, a saliva test done by dentist near you might be the answer to a more efficient diagnosis for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer. The body responds to cancer by activating certain genes. These genes then direct the cells to produce specific molecules called biomarkers. The saliva test looks for a particular biomarker, a ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecule. A high level of RNA molecules in the saliva means that the disease is likely present.

Can the Saliva Test Replace a Biopsy?

The saliva test is pending FDA approval, so medical professionals aren’t yet able to use this promising cancer screening tool. But even after it becomes widely available, the test won’t replace biopsy procedures. Instead, the saliva test conducted by dentist in Philadelphia PA will be most valuable for identifying which patients face a greater risk for developing oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer. Oral surgeons will be able to use the results to determine if an immediate biopsy is necessary, or if the procedure can be delayed.

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