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New research leads to advancements in oral cancer detection
Updated: 8/10/2010 9:00:21 PM

New research leads to advancements in oral cancer detection According to a recent study, a new test may help dentists better detect oral cancer in their patients. Current diagnostic procedures require patients to see a dentist, and if they show signs of the disease, undergo a biopsy. The use of this technique can be somewhat painful as well as time consuming.

In order to advance the development of this preventative treatment, the National Institutes of Health awarded a $2 million grant to researchers who are looking to create an accurate test that could provide results within 20 minutes.

Using a brush, the new option removes cells from parts of the mouth that could be cancerous. Samples are then placed on chips that are read by analyzing equipment. In addition to reducing the number of dental visits and costs, this new procedure is environmentally efficient as the dental equipment runs on battery power.

Martin Thornill, lead author of the study, stated that "this technology will make it easier for us to screen suspicious lesions in the mouth and separate non-cancerous lesions from those where there is a risk of cancer and those where cancer has already developed." He added that this test could improve screenings for "suspicious lesions in the mouth and reassure the vast majority of patients that they haven't got cancer without even having to send them to the hospital."

Individuals who are in need of care can benefit from signing up for a discount dental plan, which allows them to see a dentist on a regular basis, and prevent the development of many oral diseases.

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