The case for having dentists on your cancer care team

Author: New York University Cancer treatment often takes a team of health professionals—oncologists, nurses, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and social workers—to coordinate and provide comprehensive support for patients. At NYU, dentists are increasingly being considered an important part of the cancer care team. When faced with a cancer diagnosis, many patients push other health care to the side to focus on addressing the disease. But people with cancer can experience unique issues related to their oral health. For instance, radiation to the head and neck can damage the salivary glands, hurting their ability to produce saliva, which can lead to tooth decay or cavities. Radiation and chemotherapy can also cause painful mouth sores. Patients with cancer that has spread to their bones, or who are undergoing treatment that can weaken their bones, may be prescribed high doses of antiresorptive medications such as bisphosphonates. These medications can cause a rare condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw, in which the jawbone is exposed through the gums. Other treatments—including chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants—lower the immune system, leaving patients susceptible to infection. Infections in the mouth during cancer treatment are especially dangerous, given the immune system's inability to fight back. "An abscessed tooth may mean having to stop chemotherapy to treat the infection," says Denise Trochesset, clinical professor and chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine at NYU College of Dentistry. "Fortunately, intervening early to eliminate infection can minimize complications during the course of therapy," says Dalal Alhajji, [...]

2022-08-04T15:04:22-07:00August, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Developing a non-invasive test, OrisDX aims to offer a ‘game changer’ for detecting oral cancer

Author: Melissa Fassbender Source: OrisDX has developed a novel saliva-based molecular test to detect and diagnose oral cancer earlier—improving patient outcomes and saving lives. The Chicago-based startup was formed based on a decade of research in the field of liquid biopsy and cancer genomics at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University by top physicians and scientists, including co-founders Nishant Agrawal, Chetan Bettegowda, Rifat Hasina and Evgeny Izumchenko. Currently, no oral cancer salivary diagnostics are endorsed by the American Dental Association. The standard for detecting head and neck cancer is a biopsy, which often occurs at late stages, and is associated with poorer patient outcomes. Using biomarker-based molecular genomic techniques to diagnose oral cavity cancers earlier, OrisDX’s technology is based on the latest science and has been proven in clinical studies. “This is going to be a game changer in the field for oral cancer,” said Agrawal, OrisDX CEO and section chief for otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at UChicago Medicine. As a surgeon and as a clinician, Agrawal treats patients with oral cancer every day and sees advanced-stage oral cavity cancer all too often, with most of his patients presenting with Stage 3 or 4 cancers. “It didn’t make sense why most of our patients presented to us with these advanced stages,” said Agrawal. His professional network includes other surgeons and head and neck oncologists who have helped confirm the team’s belief that its test will be valuable to providers and patients alike. Improving outcomes OrisDX’s [...]

2022-08-04T14:54:34-07:00August, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Sorry, but vaping is wreaking havoc on your oral health

Source: Author: Jaymie Hooper To mark the start of Dental Health Week, oral medicine specialist Dr Sue Ching Yeoh explains the hidden dangers of vaping – and why it's time to quit. No matter which way you slice it, vaping is just not very good for you. Not only has it been shown to cause an onset of seizures, it’s also been linked to numerous deaths, and vaping liquids containing nicotine are so troubling they were recently banned in Australia. The bad press doesn’t end there, either. While we usually associate tooth decay and gum disease with cigarettes, vaping can also take a significant toll on your oral health. According to Dr Sue Ching Yeoh, an oral medicine specialist and spokesperson for the Australian Dental Association, vaping also changes the composition and balance of your oral flora (bacteria and fungal organisms that live in your mouth), which leads to an increased risk of oral fungal infections. “The most common oral side effects from vaping include dry mouth, burning, irritation, bad taste, bad breath, pain, oral mucosal lesions (lesions that affect the soft lining of the mouth), black tongue and burns,” Dr Yeoh explains. These side effects are a result of the chemicals used in vaping liquids, which are usually created by heating glycerol, glycol and nicotine to extremely high temperatures under intense pressure. “This process produces extremely toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, which are known carcinogens," Dr Yeoh adds. “As the mouth is the first site in [...]

Non-irritating foods to eat when you have mouth sores: what you can do about oral mucositis

Source: Author: Suzanne Dixon, MPH, RD The loss of appetite is common when undergoing cancer treatment, particularly if you get a common side effect called oral mucositis which causes mouth sores. To ensure proper nutrition to help you heal, you need to find non-irritating foods that you can eat even if you have mouth sores. This article explains why mouth sores occur in people undergoing cancer treatment. It also lists the types of food you can and cannot eat—as well as the way to eat—to better cope with treatment-induced oral mucositis. Over 40% of people undergoing certain cancer treatments will develop oral mucositis. It is most commonly associated with chemotherapy but can also occur with radiation therapy to the head or neck.1 Oral mucositis is an especially common occurrence when exposed to the chemotherapy drugs 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or Evomela (melphalan). Other chemotherapy drugs can do the same.2 Treatment-induced oral mucositis is the result of the following processes: Whenever cells are damaged by chemotherapy or radiation, they release unstable atoms called free radicals. This, in turn, triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines and metalloproteinase that break down a structural protein called collagen, causing tissues to thin and form ulcers. When this occurs in the mouth, natural bacteria quickly colonize the sores, causing infection, inflammation, and pain. The sores can often be extremely painful, making it difficult to eat, talk, and swallow. The sores may even extend into the esophagus that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. [...]

Merck’s Keytruda shores up head and neck case with first-line trial win

Author: Carly Helfand Source: Merck’s Keytruda may just be on its way to earlier use in head and neck cancer, an area where it once faced some questions. On Wednesday, the New Jersey drugmaker said that in a phase 3 trial in previously untreated patients, Keytruda topped a standard-of-care regimen that includes Eli Lilly’s Erbitux at extending overall survival in patients with tumors expressing a certain level of biomarker PD-L1. The data came from an interim analysis of the trial that also showed Keytruda hadn’t yet met the study’s other primary endpoint, which measures time to cancer progression. But overall survival is often considered the gold standard in cancer trials, and Merck will be taking the win in that department to regulators worldwide. Right now, Keytruda bears an approval in head and neck cancer but only in patients whose disease has worsened on or after chemo. And after snagging that conditional approval, last July it failed to prove that it could extend the lives of patients in that group. As analysts pointed out at the time, though, that miss was narrow, coming just shy of statistical significance. The FDA kept the approval in place, and now, Merck has the data to back it up. If Merck can win a new indication from the FDA, it could gain access to a patient pool that grows by about 63,000 U.S. cases per year. And that's a group Keytruda's rival, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo, can't currently treat: Its approval only extends to previously [...]

Vital Signs: Human papillomavirus vaccine is cancer prevention

Author: Brenna Robertson Source: In a world of pandemics, vaccines, tests, and what feel like new threats to our health and safety every day, it is sometimes important to look back and review the basics of our personal health. This is particularly applicable when we think of infections that very easily spread from person to person. One such infection is the human papillomavirus (HPV). What is HPV? HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a group of more than 200 viruses, some of which can cause cancers, including cervical, oropharyngeal and anal cancer. About 75% of HPV-type viruses can cause warts or papillomas (non-cancerous tumors), while the other 25% affect mucosal areas such as the vagina, penis, anus and mouth. Although HPV causes more than 99% of cervical cancer cases, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) states about 70% of oropharyngeal cancer is linked to HPV infections in the mouth and upper throat. Screening is important HPV impacts anyone of any gender, and anyone of any age can develop cancer after infection. It is so common, the CDC reports, that nearly everyone will get an HPV infection at some point in life. Because the virus can go undetected, it can put people at risk of developing cancer or unknowingly spreading the infection. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women start pap screenings at age 21. Early detection of oropharyngeal cancer is possible with routine mouth and upper throat screenings, so individuals should talk to their [...]

2022-07-26T09:12:30-07:00July, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

‘Extremely Healthy’ Physical Trainer Thought His ‘Internal Bleeding’ Was Tonsillitis: It Turned Out To Be Cancer And He Had To Relearn Eating, Drinking

Author: Adam Kovac Source: An army veteran and personal trainer had to learn to eat and drink again after what he thought was tonsillitis turned out to be oral cancer in his tongue, tonsils and lymph nodes. Lee Webb, 52, told The Mirror he had avoided doctors for 20 years until summer 2021, when he was recovering from a bout with COVID-19. But when tonsillitis symptoms persisted, he said he realized something else was going on. “I had internal bleeds and I was taken to the hospital for that. It was my first time in the ambulance, first time touching base with the (National Health Service) after many, many years,” Webb said. “They told me to visit the ear, nose and throat department but I never received an appointment letter because it went to my old address. That just shows how long I didn’t see doctors. A few months later, around October, I had a second bout of what I thought was tonsillitis, but also I noticed a lump in my neck. That’s when I started being concerned.” While that lump appeared in October, 2021, Webb said his oral cancer diagnosis was delayed to February as the healthcare system was still struggling with the pandemic. “For over a month I tried to make an appointment with the GP,” he said. “All I heard was that the lines were broken. Keep trying. In January, I thought it was a third bout of this thing, but the lump was getting bigger. [...]

2022-07-22T09:43:25-07:00July, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Can an Enlarged Tongue Be a Sign of Multiple Myeloma?

Author: Olga Askinazi, PhD Source: Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. A plasma cell is a special type of white blood cell in the bone marrow that, in healthy people, helps the immune system fight infections by making antibodies. If plasma cells start growing out of control, they form a cancerous tumor called multiple myeloma (MM). Although there’s no cure for MM, appropriate treatment can bring it into remission, which means having no or few symptoms of the disease. It can be challenging to recognize MM because its symptoms vary depending on the person. Initial stages of the disease often have no noticeable signs at all. One of the rare signs of MM is an enlarged (swollen) tongue. This condition only occurs with MM-related amyloidosis. This happens when cancer-causing plasma creates irregular antibodies that build up in your organs, in this case, your tongue. Multiple myeloma and tongue amyloidosis The term “amyloidosis” means a buildup of an abnormal protein (called amyloid) in your body. In the case of MM, amyloid buildup happens because cancerous plasma cells make abnormal antibodies. These antibodies can stick together and form clumps in your organs, most commonly: kidneys heart liver Amyloidosis is not very common. It happens in 10% to 15% of people with MM. What about tongue amyloidosis? This rare condition occurs when the antibody amyloid builds up in your tongue, making it large, swollen, and painful (macroglossia). Your tongue can sometimes look rippled around the edges. It’s more common in [...]

2022-07-21T09:35:28-07:00July, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Diagnostic Utility of Cytokeratin 17 Expression in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Review

Author: Ankita Gyanchandani, et all Source: Abstract One of the most common oral malignancies is oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Although the prevalence of oral cancer varies worldwide, it is generally agreed that the oral cavity is a common anatomical site for cancer, depending primarily on the country (and even particular region in some countries) and gender of the patients. Finding diagnostic markers for OSCC is critical for early diagnosis and personalised treatment of patients. Because they are overexpressed in OSCC relative to normal mucosa, cytokeratins (CKs), intermediate filaments of the cytoskeletons, are possibilities for diagnostic markers of OSCC. CK17 should be targeted as a diagnostic marker for OSCC among the CKs, as multiple other CKs have been linked to the disease. This study aims to assess the immuno-histochemistry expression of CK17 and to investigate whether there is a link between CK17 and OSCC differentiation. Introduction & Background Oral cancer refers to a collection of tumours that can affect any part of the mouth, pharynx, or salivary glands. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is thought to account for more than 90% of all oral neoplasms [1]. Despite breakthroughs in therapeutic techniques, OSCC morbidity and mortality rates have remained relatively unchanged over the previous 30 years. Males have rates of 6.6/100,000 and 3.1/100,000 morbidity and mortality, respectively, whereas females have rates of 2.9/100,000 and 1.4/100,000. Oral cancer is also six times more likely to develop in alcohol drinkers than in non-drinkers [1]. The combination of tobacco and alcohol use constitutes [...]

2022-07-20T07:34:35-07:00July, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Thousands of volunteers in the West Midlands join NHS trial to spot deadly cancers

Source: Author: staff Over 140,000 people, of which almost 18,500 are from the West Midlands, have volunteered to take part in the world’s largest trial of a blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer, as part of the latest National Health Service (NHS) drive to catch the disease when it is generally easiest to treat. In just one year since the NHS-Galleri trial began, volunteers from across the country have come forward to have a blood test at mobile clinics in convenient locations, including supermarket and leisure centre car parks and places of worship. Participants will now be invited to attend two further appointments, spaced roughly 12 months apart. The NHS Long Term Plan committed to increasing the proportion of cancers caught early, when they are easier to treat, from half to three in four. NHS ‘one stop shops’ have also already delivered 190,000 additional tests in the Midlands, including for cancer, since the rollout began, with seven community diagnostic centres (CDCs) in the West Midlands offering a range of diagnostic tests and other services closer to patients’ homes, often in the heart of local communities. More CDCs are also in development and will become operational over the next three years. This trial is part of radical NHS action to tackle cancer, that also includes the successful rollout of targeted lung trucks across the country, with thousands of people invited for checks every month in mobile vehicles, and hundreds of cancers diagnosed earlier. Initial research [...]

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