Medicare costs for older patients with oral cavity and pharyngeal cancers increased based on demographics, co-existing illnesses and treatment selection, according to a report published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Many cases of oral cavity cancer and most cases of pharyngeal cancer are diagnosed at advanced stages when management of the disease is complex and treatment is aggressive and involves multiple specialists. The publicly funded Medicare program provides an opportunity for researchers to estimate the cost of care for older patients with these cancers. [Read more…]
Worldwide, it is estimated that about a billion humans consume tobacco products. Considering the same, the Indian situation is alarming. Thirty-five crore Indians use some form of tobacco mostly in the form of gutka, khaini, quid etc. The habit of chewing tobacco is rampant across all social classes and as a result, India has a dubious distinction of being the world capital of tobacco-related oral as well as head and neck cancer. About 1 million Indians die due to tobacco-related illness and one death is reported every six hours due to oral cancer. [Read more…]
Researchers at UCLA have found that a protein that serves as a suppressor of cancer diminishes in skin and mouth epithelial cells as the human body ages. Dr. No-Hee Park, dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry, and his research team have been studying p53, a tumor suppressor protein known as “the guardian of the genome” because of its involvement in DNA repair, cell cycle regulation and cellular deterioration. [Read more…]
For more than half a century, oral and oropharyngeal cancers have been out of the mainstream view of the American public, have seen their death rate remain unchanged, and until recently had no national early discovery effort directed at them. The morbidity of treatments — that the roughly 59% who survive five years after diagnosis experience — is significant, (a death rate significantly worse than other cancers whose names are more commonly recognized), and leaves patients with serious quality of life issues that only get worse each year as they move further into survivorship. There are many ways in which this paradigm can be improved, and we are on the cusp of several opportunities to change much of this. [Read more…]
Interprofessional collaboration for optimal patient health and wellness has never been more important, especially with advancements related to electronic health records. With so many specialties, whole-body health is often fragmented by specific body systems and therefore, for better or worse, the roles and responsibilities of providers are intertwined.
Recently I saw my physician for a routine physical. The nurse checked my vitals, height and weight, and made sure my medication list on file was up to date. The nurse also asked if I had any specific concerns for the doctor. The physician listened to my heart and lungs, pressed on my abdomen, palpated my thyroid and asked me to say “ahh.” The visit concluded with a flu shot and an order for routine blood work. This sounds like a fairly typical exam from a family practitioner, right? [Read more…]
For more than a decade, the majority of dentists have been sitting on the fence regarding the adoption of salivary diagnostic testing. This indecision prevails despite the fact that the latest advances in salivary molecular DNA testing deliver results with an accuracy and specificity that rival that of blood, while at the same time being easier to administer, painless, and noninvasive.
What’s more, salivary diagnostic technology promises to be one of the main catalysts for closing the gap between dentistry and medicine, as it will create an early warning system for a wide range of systemic diseases — direct from the dentist’s operatory chair. [Read more…]
Developed by PeriRx LLC, SaliMark OSCC is a salivary diagnostic test for the early detection and diagnosis of oral squamous call carcinoma. [Read more…]
Somewhere along the way, something really bizarre happened: The mouth got separated from the rest of the body. After all, we have dentists, and we have physicians. We have dental insurance and we have medical insurance.
The result is the adoption of a notion that what happens in the mouth doesn’t really matter—that they’re just teeth after all … I can always get a denture. But as dental professionals, we understand that it’s not just about teeth. The mouth as part of the gastrointestinal system is home to all kinds of microbes—some helpful and others that are downright destructive. The challenge is to help our medical colleagues and the patient understand the impact that oral health has on systemic health. I do not know of any health care provider who would ask a patient with an open wound to take the contents of a petri dish growing P. gingivalis and rub that into the injury, yet the risk for bacteremia is [Read more…]
Oral cancer is the sixth most prevalent form of cancer in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 43,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.
What’s more, the mortality rate for oral cancer is alarmingly high, with more than 8,000 deaths every year. This equates to one person dying every hour, 24 hours per day.
Earlier oral cancer detection through a visual inspection combined with molecular DNA testing can help reverse these statistics. The problem up until now has been to accurately identify cancerous lesions through visual inspection of the oral cavity conducted by the clinician’s naked eye or with an adjunctive fluorescent device. [Read more…]