The good news is, if you have a mouth lesion, there’s only a five to thirty percent chance that it will be cancerous. Still, sores, bumps, and abnormal spots in your mouth shouldn’t be ignored if they linger for weeks on end. We’re not saying that you should make a dental appointment any time you have a canker or cold sore. We…
The good news is, if you have a mouth lesion, there’s only a five to thirty percent chance that it will be cancerous. Still, sores, bumps, and abnormal spots in your mouth shouldn’t be ignored if they linger for weeks on end. We’re not saying that you should make a dental appointment any time you have a canker or cold sore. We just want our patients to be diligent with red flags. The best way to ensure that you’re doing all you can is to keep up with your biannual checkups which will include oral cancer screenings. In fact, screening methods improve all the time. For example, a new gene test developed by researchers from Queen Mary, University of London, can detect pre-cancerous cells. Your Knoxville dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach, will tell you more.
Oral Cancer: A New Method of Screening
Research in the UK and Norway looked at 299 patients. All of these volunteers were asked to provide tissue samples. In the United Kingdom, statistics show that oral cancer afflicts over 6,200 people each year. In that same time period, it is estimated that 500,000 worldwide will succumb to oral or pharyngeal cancer. As these rates are rising, over one million people in the world could end up with a diagnosis of oral cancer by the year 2030. Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to chewing tobacco and smoking. The results of this research was published online in the International Journal of Cancer, where the quantitative Malignancy Index Diagnostic System (qMIDS) test was unveiled.
With suspicious lesions in the mouth, the current procedure most commonly used is a biopsy known as histopathology. A tissue specimen is removed from the suspicious area during an out-patient operation. Unfortunately, this can cause a great deal of anxiety and discomfort for a patient who is already feeling nervous about potential scary news. With the qMIDS test, a small 1-2 mm piece of tissue (less than half the size of a grain of rice) is required. Results are available within three hours, as opposed to a week for standard histopathology. This cuts down on the anxiety levels and healing time for patients. Furthermore, the oral cancer detection rate with qMIDS was an astonishing 91 to 94 percent. Hopefully, this test will pass all of the necessary standards to become a regular part of diagnosing oral cancer in the future.
Consult with your Knoxville General Dentist
If you are concerned with any lesions in your mouth, don’t hesitate to contact your Knoxville dentist. Early diagnosis and intervention can greatly improve your prognosis. You can reach our 37919 dentist office at 865-240-2035. We are proud to offer comprehensive dentistry to patients in West Knoxville, the Bearden area, the 37919 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.