Oral Cancer Testing Improvements on the Horizon

We recently spoke about oral cancer treatment options. Fortunately, only five to 35% of mouth lesions end up with a malignant diagnosis. It’s easy to see why sores, bumps, and abnormal spots in your mouth are often overlooked as no cause of concern. There is a fine line between proactivity regarding your oral health versus running to the dentist every time you have a canker sore. Early detection significantly improves oral cancer survival rates. That’s why an exciting gene test developed by researchers from Queen Mary, University of London has created a buzz in the world of dentistry. Detecting pre-cancerous cells in even the most benign looking lesions could make a huge difference in raising oral cancer morbidity rates.

Oral Cancer Testing

The research study which took place in the UK and Norway involved 299 patients who gave tissue specimens. Mouth cancer afflicts over 6,200 people in the United Kingdom every year. This equivocates over 500,000 people worldwide. Oral cancer rates are on the rise, with an expected statistic of over one million cases annually by 2030. Most cases of oral/pharyngeal cancer are linked to chewing tobacco and smoking. Study results were published in the International Journal of Cancer. The study highlighted the quantitative Malignancy Index Diagnostic System (qMIDS) test.

A Quicker, Less Invasive Procedure

The current diagnostic tool for suspicious lesions in a biopsy process is clinically termed histopathology. For this minor surgery, tissue is removed from the suspicious area and then sent to a pathologist. The low invasion procedure still causes marked anxiety for many patients. The qMIDS test only requires a 1-2 mm piece of tissue which is less than half the size of a grain of rice. Test results are available within three hours rather than the standard week required for standard histopathology. The oral cancer detection rate with qMIDS is great, at 91 to 94%. The qMIDS test may have a bright future as a diagnostic test for early cancer detection, however further clinical trials are required before this test will become a regular part of dentistry.

About Shawn Hofkes, DDS

With advanced training in oral and maxillofacial surgery, Shawn Hofkes, DDS is qualified to provide comfortable, safe dental surgery from our state-of-the-art dentist office in Cerritos, CA. To schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.