Saliva check for mouth cancer is a ‘lifesaving boost’
 

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Saliva check for mouth cancer is a ‘lifesaving boost’

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Saliva check for mouth cancer is a ‘lifesaving boost’

 

Saliva check for mouth cancer is a ‘lifesaving boost’

A lifesaving saliva swab that detects early signs of mouth cancer has been welcomed by dental experts.

New research, published this month in the Clinical Cancer Journal, saw scientists detect signs of mouth cancer by checking saliva.

The findings were noted as an important step in finding the ‘Holy Grail of cancer detection' by the Journal's senior editor Dr Jennifer Grandis.

And the news has been welcomed by the British Dental Health Foundation – organisers of the UK's largest ever mouth cancer campaign.

Mouth Cancer Action Month, running throughout November, is the first ever month-long campaign seeking to raise awareness of a killer disease which has seen a 41% rise in diagnosis in just 10 years.

The US study – comparing 50 samples obtained from mouth cancer patients with 50 healthy specimens – found 50 microRNA chemicals that could help cancer diagnosis and two specific microRNAs, miR-125a and miR-200a, were noted in significantly lower levels in mouth cancer samples.

It was conducted by researchers at the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry and was led by Professor David Wong.

Early detection saves lives in the fight against mouth cancer – improving survival chances to more than 90% from the current five-year survival of just half of cases.

Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter said: ‘With early diagnosis so vital, these studies could hopefully provide a lifesaving boost.

‘However, it is important for further studies to prove this an effective and accurate test even in pre-cancerous cells. These early studies used only saliva samples where mouth cancer is present.


‘We have committed more resources than ever to Mouth Cancer Action Month after the shocking figures released this year. It really is time for action and to heed the campaign's message – “If In Doubt, Get Checked Out”.'
 

Mouth Cancer Action Month takes place in November 2009, supported by Denplan. The Foundation's National Dental Helpline 0845 063 1188 will be available to answer public calls 9am to 5pm. Further information available at www.mouthcancer.org.

 Posted on : Fri 4th - Sep - 2009

 

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