Oral Cancer Survival Rate Remains Unchanged Over the Last Thirty Years

8/15/2002 Atlanta Cancer Journal for Clinicians An estimated 28,900 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer and nearly 7,400 will succumb to the disease, according to a review published in the July/August issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a peer-reviewed journal from the American Cancer Society. This disease most commonly has been found in middle-aged and older individuals, and it has affected more men than women. However, authors Brad W. Neville, DDS, and Terry A. Day, MD, FACS, say that “a disturbing number of these malignancies is being documented in younger adults…[and the] disparity in the male:female ratio has become less pronounced over the past half century, probably because women have been more equally exposing themselves to known oral carcinogens such as tobacco and alcohol.” Along with a review of the epidemiological and clinical features of oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, Neville and Day emphasize early detection as the best method of prevention. “In spite of the ready accessibility of the oral cavity to direct examination, these malignancies still are often not detected until a late stage, and the survival rate for oral cancer has remained essentially unchanged over the past three decades,” say the authors.

2009-03-22T18:44:21-07:00August, 2002|Archive|

Pacemaker Could Improve Tongue Reconstruction

8/14/2002 Berlin Hannah Cleaver Reuters Health A "pacemaker for the tongue" could soon help victims of mouth cancer or accidents to control a reconstructed tongue built from transplanted muscle, animal studies in Germany suggest. Currently, surgeons can fashion replacement tongues from neck muscles for people who lose their tongue to cancer or trauma. The muscles are grafted onto the base of the person's original tongue. But controlling the rebuilt organ, in order to eat and talk, is a major problem and reconstructed tongues need to be kept active to avoid shrinkage through disuse. "The reconstructed tongue initially makes passive movements, which are produced by contractions of the surrounding floor of the mouth as well as pharynx and chewing musculature," said Professor Stephan Remmert, from Luebeck University Hospital, at last week's German Ear, Nose and Throat Conference in Baden-Baden. To give patients better control of the tongue, Remmert is using pacemaker technology to boost nerve signals to the reconstructed organ. He told Reuters Health that the main aim of the work was to filter the most important signals that the brain sends to the main tongue nerve, the hypoglossus. "Then we can amplify the signal and send it on to the new musculature," Remmert said. "It has to be amplified enough to generate quite powerful movements." In experiments on domestic pigs, the group is surrounding the severed end of the hypoglossus with electrodes to measure, reproduce and send its signals. Much of the other technology needed has already been developed, or [...]

2009-03-22T18:44:57-07:00August, 2002|Archive|

Sweet but Deadly Addiction is Seizing the Young in India

8/13/2002 Bombay, India Amy Waldman Tata Memorial Hospital Promoted by a slick and many-tentacled advertising campaign, gutka, an indigenous form of smokeless tobacco, has become a fixture in the mouths of millions of Indians over the last two decades. It has spread through the subcontinent, and even to South Asians in England. But what has prompted particular concern here is the way that in the last 10 years, gutka - as portable as chewing gum and sometimes as sweet as candy - has found its way into the mouths of Indian children. Young people have become gutka consumers in large numbers, and they have become an alarming avant-garde in what doctors say is an oral cancer epidemic. That, among other factors, has prompted the state of Maharashtra, which includes Bombay, to take an unusual step. It enacted a five-year ban, the longest permitted by law, on the production, sale, transport and possession of gutka, a $30 million business in the state, effective Aug. 1. Several other states have undertaken similar bans, although some have been stayed by the courts. It is easy, on the streets of Bombay, to find young men like Raga Vendra, now 19, a railway worker who began taking gutka at age 11. It is also easy to find gutka sellers, like Ahmed Maqsood, who say they have had customers as young as 6. Dr. Surendra Shastri, the head of preventive oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital, noticed about five years ago that his patients were getting younger, [...]

2009-03-22T18:45:30-07:00August, 2002|Archive|

Screenwriter Eszterhas Has Cancer

8/9/2002 New York AP "Basic Instinct" screenwriter Joe Eszterhas has throat cancer after a lifetime of smoking, and is urging Hollywood to stop glamorizing cigarette use the way he says he did. Eszterhas writes in an op-ed piece in Friday's New York Times that he was diagnosed with the disease 18 months ago. Much of his larynx is gone, he says, and he has difficulty speaking and being understood. "Smoking was an integral part of many of my screenplays because I was a militant smoker. It was part of a bad boy image I'd cultivated for a long time — smoking, drinking, partying, rock 'n' roll," the 57-year-old writes. "Smoking, I once believed, was every person's right. ... I don't think smoking is every person's right anymore. I think smoking should be as illegal as heroin." Eszterhas says he has trouble forgiving himself for the rampant cigarette use in his films. "I have been an accomplice to the murders of untold numbers of human beings. I am admitting this only because I have made a deal with God. Spare me, I said, and I will try to stop others from committing the same crimes I did." The writer of other guilty-pleasure movies, including "Flashdance," "Sliver" and "Showgirls," says there are "1,000 better and more original ways to reveal a character's personality" than with cigarettes. In 1992's "Basic Instinct," Eszterhas explains, smoking is part of the sexual subtext. " Sharon Stone's character smokes; Michael Douglas' is trying to quit. She seduces him [...]

2009-03-22T18:34:32-07:00August, 2002|Archive|

Oral Cancer Test Detects Over 2500 Mouth Cancers of Precancers in Last 16 Months; New Data Confirms Dentists Should Expect to See Testable Lesions Each Week

8/8/2002 Melville, NY Business Wire Sullivan-Schein Dental, the U.S. Dental Business of Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq:HSIC), announced today that OralCDx, a painless, early oral cancer detection test exclusively distributed by the company in the U.S., is credited with identifying more than 2,500 precancerous or cancerous lesions during the past 16 months, according to CDx Laboratories, developers of the OralCDx biopsy brush. Many of these cancers presented as benign-appearing spots or sores in the mouth have been traditionally overlooked or "watched" before this test became available. New evidence recently published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (Christian DC. J Am Dent Assoc 2002; 133: 357-62) confirms that, upon careful examination, dentists should expect to see at least two benign-appearing lesions that should be tested each week even in low-risk patients. Oral cancer results in more deaths nationwide than either melanoma (skin cancer) or cervical cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately one-half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years following the diagnosis. However, when detected early, the disease is often curable. "I tested a white, very small lesion in one of my patients, a 20-year non-smoker, who came in for a cleaning," said Craig Steichen, DDS, of Albuquerque, N.M. "It turned out to be an early stage squamous cell carcinoma. This was one of those lesions that, without this test, would have gone undiagnosed until the cancer was more advanced. The OralCDx test I performed probably saved this patient's [...]

2009-03-22T18:28:23-07:00August, 2002|Archive|
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