mouth cancer

Scared smokeless–The FDA should use the most graphic images possible in its new warnings on cigarette packs.

Source: Los Angeles Times

It’s easy to guess what would happen if a pharmaceutical company asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve a new product with the following characteristics: no proven health benefits. Major known side effects: greatly increased risk of emphysema, heart attacks, stroke and cancer, including lung, cervical, mouth, stomach and bladder. The product also lowers bone density in older women and causes higher rates of serious health problems among newborns. It significantly harms the health even of those who merely spend time near the drug while it’s in use. And it’s addictive.

If cigarettes were a new invention, they’d never pass muster with even the most lax of regulatory agencies. Unhappily for our collective health, not only does tobacco’s legacy date back thousands of years, but it is inextricably tied to the birth of the United States. None other than John Rolfe, best known as Pocahontas’ husband, is credited with the first commercial cultivation of tobacco in Jamestown, in 1612.

Four hundred years later, we’ve learned a thing or two about tobacco, especially in its inhaled form. Now we wrestle with how to act on that information. Cigarettes are a terrible health scourge, but this is also a country that respects the right of adults, in most cases, to ruin their own health as long as they are not endangering others. So driving drunk is forbidden, as is smoking in many indoor public spaces, but cigarettes themselves remain legal.

Yet as a society, we don’t want to sit idly by and watch tobacco take its toll. So we tried public service messages to counter the lure of cigarette advertising. Then we banned TV commercials and placed small warnings from the surgeon general on cigarette packs. We raised excise taxes and restricted the settings where smoking is legal.

It worked. Smoking rates are half what they were 40 years ago, with only one in five Americans lighting up. (In California, which has led the nation in anti-smoking laws and public service messages, the rate is lower than 13%.)

For the past six years, though, progress against cigarettes has stalled, which led to congressional action last year in the form of a law empowering the FDA to regulate tobacco and requiring large, visually arresting anti-smoking warnings on every cigarette pack. The recently unveiled images, which will cover half of the front and back of each pack, show tar-blackened lungs and toe-tagged corpses, along with many tamer pictures. The depictions must also be shown in cigarette advertisements, and must take up a fifth of the ad’s space.

In the past decade, 38 countries started requiring cigarette packs to carry images designed to discourage the habit. Early research offers encouraging signs that they work, and do so without requiring a major investment of taxpayer money. Short of banning cigarettes altogether, it will take this sort of bold action to prod the nation into further reducing tobacco use. If anything, the FDA’s new warning labels err on the side of being too tepid.

We don’t say that lightly. The images will in effect force tobacco companies to advertise against themselves on the packages of their own products. The possible analogies are endless: Should wineries be required to include color photos of cirrhotic livers on their labels, or should KFC buckets of chicken have to feature a cross-section of the fat deposits on an obese individual? Concerns about a slippery slope are valid — it would be distasteful and ultimately unhelpful to litter the landscape with repulsive pictorial warnings — but those concerns shouldn’t stop the FDA from taking this potentially life-saving course of action.

That’s because when it comes to health-destroying products, cigarettes are in a class of their own. They have no real benefits and are addictive as well. Though many people might treat themselves to an occasional plate of fries or a bottle of beer, rare is the person who enjoys a cigarette every couple of weeks. Many smokers were lured into addiction by an industry that purposely withheld information about its product’s horrific effects on health. Smoking remains the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States.

In 2001, Canada became the first country to adopt the big, colorful, graphic warnings. Smoking rates among Canadian youth ages 15 to 19 have dropped from 26% to 15%. Adult rates dropped less dramatically. But it’s impossible to know how much of the reduction was prompted by the warning labels, because several other anti-smoking initiatives started in the country around the same time.

Still, the results from surveys in 15 countries offer persuasive evidence of the labels’ effectiveness. Smokers noticed and remembered the images better than text warnings and said the new labels had given them important health information. Teenagers were more likely to say the graphic warnings had discouraged them from smoking altogether, and adults were more likely to have at least tried to quit or to have refrained from taking the next cigarette they had planned on smoking.

As helpful as it is to adopt more prominent warnings, equally important is making sure they have the maximum impact. The FDA is considering 26 possible images, and will narrow those to nine. But David Hammond, an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada and one of the leading researchers on the topic, says many of the images are too tame to grab consumer attention. One of the most effective Canadian images shows a grinning, cancer-riddled mouth; opening the package also opens the mouth, the teeth parting to reveal the neatly packaged cigarettes. There’s a less repulsive version of the cancerous mouth among the FDA’s contenders, along with one of a smoker exhaling through a hole in his throat. But many of the FDA’s images are more symbolic than graphic; it should use the most dramatic ones.

Research shows that the warning labels work better when they’re coupled with an increase in smoking-cessation programs, and when they include a phone number or website where smokers can get quick information on how to quit. The change in cigarette labeling is welcome, but the FDA could do more. If the idea is to startle people into quitting, this is no time for timidity.

November, 2010|Oral Cancer News|



Women who consume high volumes of folic acid found in Vitamin B from vegetables and some fruits are less likely to suffer from mouth cancer.

87,000 nurses were followed for 30 years from 1976 by researchers from the Columbia University Medical Centre and Harvard School of Public Health. Women who drank a high volume of alcohol and had low folic acid intake were three times more likely to develop mouth cancer than those who drank high volumes of alcohol but had high volumes of folic acid in their diet.

Alcohol is one of the major risk factors for mouth cancer and those who drink to excess are four times more likely to be diagnosed. This is the first time that folic acid intake has been shown to affect the risk of the disease. Alcohol leads to a reduction in folic acid metabolism by creating acetaldehyde which leads to a reduction of folic acid in the body.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: “Rates of mouth cancer in women have been increasing for many years as a result of changed social habits with more women smoking and drinking. This new research could offer a method to reduce this by looking at the folic acid intake and increasing fruit and vegetables containing folic acid in the diet.

“In the past studies have tended to focus on males, as they are twice as likely to suffer from the disease. Whilst this study focuses on women we know that men also benefit from the protective value of increased fruit and vegetables”.

Folic acid or vitamin B9 is essential to an individual’s health by helping to make and maintain new cells. Pregnant women are advised to supplement their intake of folic acid, to ensure a healthy development of the baby.

Folic acid is found in vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, beans, peas and lentils and is added to bread. Fruit juices, broccoli and brussel sprouts contain smaller amounts.

An unhealthy diet has been linked with around a third of mouth cancer cases. Recent research has also shown that an increase in food such as eggs and fish that contain Omega 3, and nuts, seeds and brown rice, which are high in fibre, can help decrease the risks.

Mouth cancer survival is poor with only around half of cases surviving for 5 years and this is due to late presentation. The Mouth Cancer Action Month Campaign run by the Foundation aims to increase awareness and reverse this trend with the theme ‘If in doubt get checked out’.

Early warning signs to look out for include a mouth ulcer that has not healed within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and any unusual swelling or lumps in the mouth. These are all signs that you should get your dentist or doctor to check you out as soon as possible.

November, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Smoking cessation funding slashed

Source: Atlantic Drugs

By: Susan Ray

Smoking cessation funding has been cut to its lowest level since 1999.

Despite 20% of the population smoking, the same percentage that were in 2006, the current economic climate and other factors have caused states to reduce funding for stop smoking initiatives.

Around $517 million has been allocated in the fiscal year 2011, which is down 9.2% from the previous year, and 28% less than in 2009.


Public health groups are alarmed that people who are looking to quit smoking may now not get the help that they need. There are around 46 million smokers across America, all at an increased risk of developing serious health problems like lung and mouth cancer, and heart disease. Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death in the US and is responsible for one in five deaths. About 8.6 million people suffer from smoking-related lung and heart disease. Smokers are twice as likely to die from heart attacks in comparison with non-smokers.

Most important step

The US Surgeon General has said, “Smoking cessation (stopping smoking) represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”

Quitting smoking can be difficult. Some smokers find that the nicotine addictions make it too hard to give up. For others, the mental cravings to smoke are a greater problem. Research has shown that quitting smoking is more ‘mind over matter’ for many people, and that overcoming psychological desires to smoke cigarettes is a large part of giving up. Some smokers find that the anti-smoking medication Champix helps with their smoking cessation efforts.

November, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

“Staggering” lack of awareness of mouth cancer revealed

Source: Dental Health Foundation

A NEW SURVEY undertaken by British Dental Health Foundation has revealed an alarming lack of awareness about the causes and symptoms of one of the UK’s fastest growing cancers – mouth cancer.

Despite the recent case of actor Michael Douglas, who is suffering from advanced throat cancer, the answers from over 1,000 members of the public who were questioned in the survey for Mouth Cancer Action Month supported by Denplan reveal that there is only limited knowledge and understanding of this potentially deadly disease.

One person in 10 claimed not even to have heard of mouth cancer.

Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: “After recent high profile coverage of the Michael Douglas case it is staggering to see that some people still have no awareness at all of the condition.”

Dr Carter added: “It is vital that the public have a greater awareness because survival rates increase massively with early detection from just 50 percent to 90 percent. The public need to be aware of the risk factors and whether they are in a high risk group and how they can self–examine or who they can turn to if they’re concerned.”

The results of the survey reveal that it is the older members of the public who are most aware of mouth cancer, with more than 96 percent of those interviewed saying that they had heard of it.

Dr Carter added: “This sounds good as the majority of cases occur in the over 50s but now more young people are being diagnosed with mouth cancer it is important that everyone is aware of the problem. The survey also shows that women are more aware of the disease than men – yet men are twice as likely as women to suffer with mouth cancer.”

The results of the survey show that over a third of the public questioned dramatically underestimated the prevalence of the disease by answering that mouth cancer was responsible for one death every day in the UK. In fact, mouth cancer causes a death in the UK every five hours and is now responsible for more deaths than cervical and testicular cancer combined.

Dr Carter continued: “Rates of mouth cancer have increased by over 40 percent over the last decade and this year’s figures from Globecan show a worrying 10 percent increase over last year’s figures to very nearly 6,000 new cases a year. Despite this there is not always a great deal of publicity surrounding it, so people just do not realise how common and dangerous it is which is why we run Mouth Cancer Action Month every November in the UK.”

Statistically worldwide, an estimated 405,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and over two–thirds of cases in the UK are detected at a late stage. During the campaign the Foundation is encouraging people to self–examine for mouth cancer. Self–examination is important because there are early warning signs to look out for, such as a mouth ulcer that doesn’t heal for over three weeks, or red and white patches on the gums or tongue or any unusual swelling or lumps in the mouth. The campaign strap line is “If in doubt…get checked out” and the Foundation advises that anyone who thinks they have any of these symptoms to visit their dentist as early detection is vital. The dental team have a vital role to play in carrying out opportunistic screening at every recall visit and using this opportunity to educate their patients about mouth cancer, risk factors and self awareness and examination.

Tobacco remains the main risk factor for the disease and alongside excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for three in four cases. Poor diet is also a risk factor and advice for patients should be to have a balanced, healthy diet including five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) spread via oral sex is an increasing concern to oral health experts and a recent study in the US connected over 20,000 cancer cases to HPV in the last five years. Experts now suggest it may rival tobacco as the main cause for mouth cancer in the next decade. Younger people and those with multiple sexual partners are most at risk.

October, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Congressman wants chewing tobacco thrown out of World Series

Source: The Hill, The Washington Scene
By: Jordan Fabian

With the World Series set to begin Wednesday night, a New Jersey congressman wants the participating teams to give chewing tobacco the boot from their dugouts.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D) called on the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants to eschew their use of smokeless tobacco during the Fall Classic, saying it sets a bad example for kids.

“Asking @MLB World Series teams to ban chewing tobacco. It hurts more than players when so many young ppl watch & are influenced by players,” the congressman said on Twitter.

Pallone has long been an opponent of the use of chewing tobacco in the sport, citing its negative health effects and poor example for children.

The 11-term congressman held a hearing on the issue in April, at which House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) called on Major League Baseball to ban the use of smokeless tobacco.

A representative from the baseball players union opposed the move, drawing a contrast between cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Scrutiny of players’ use of the tobacco products, however, re-emerged this month after Hall of Fame right fielder Tony Gwynn was diagnosed with a form of mouth cancer. Gwynn, who spent his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres, openly speculated that it resulted from his use of chewing tobacco.

October, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Poll reveals patients are not mouth cancer-savvy

Author: Staff

The public are oblivious to signs of mouth cancer.

A poll, commissioned to coincide with November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month, reveals that one person in 10 claimed not to have even heard of the condition.

Despite the much-publicised news of the battle actor Michael Douglas is currently having with advanced throat cancer, the survey, conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation and Denplan. oll reveals an alarming lack of awareness about the causes and symptoms of one of the UK’s fastest growing cancers.

The poll of more than 1,000 people suggests that there is only limited knowledge and understanding of this potentially deadly disease.

Chief executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, says: “After recent high profile coverage of the Michael Douglas case it is staggering to see that some people still have no awareness at all of the condition.

‘The public need to be aware of the risk factors and whether they are in a high risk group and how they can self-examine or who they can turn to if they’re concerned.’

The results of the survey reveal that it is the older members of the public who are most aware of mouth cancer, with more than 96% of those interviewed saying that they had heard of it.

Dr Carter adds: ‘This sounds good as the majority of cases occur in the over 50s but now more young people are being diagnosed with mouth cancer it is important that everyone is aware of the problem. The survey also shows that women are more aware of the disease than men – yet men are twice as likely as women to suffer with mouth cancer.’

The results of the survey show that more than a third of the public questioned dramatically underestimated the prevalence of the disease by answering that mouth cancer was responsible for one death every day in the UK.

In fact, mouth cancer causes a death in the UK every five hours and is now responsible for more deaths than cervical and testicular cancer combined.

Dr Carter says: ‘Rates of mouth cancer have increased by over 40% over the last decade and this year’s figures from Globecan show a worrying 10% increase over last year’s figures to very nearly 6,000 new cases a year.

‘Despite this, there is not always a great deal of publicity surrounding it, so people just do not realise how common and dangerous it is which is why we run Mouth Cancer Action Month every November in the UK.’

October, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

The cancer-causing sex virus

Source: Forbes
Author: Matthew Herper

Martin Duffy, a Boston consultant and economist, thought he just had a sore throat. When it persisted for months, he went to the doctor and learned there was a tumor on his tonsils.

Duffy, now 70, had none of the traditional risk factors for throat cancer. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink and has run 40 Boston marathons. Instead, his cancer was caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted and a common cause of throat and mouth cancer.

HPV tumors have a better prognosis than those caused by too many years of booze and cigarettes. But Duffy “is in the unlucky 20%” whose cancer comes back–despite rounds of chemotherapy and radiation that melted 20 more pounds off a lean 150-pound frame. Now the cancer has spread throughout his throat, making eating and talking difficult. “I made my living as a public speaker,” he says. “Now I sound like Daffy Duck.” Duffy believes he has only a few months left. “How do you tell the people you love you love them?” he asks.

Nine Things You Need To Know About HPV

Most strains of the HPV virus are harmless, but persistent infections with two HPV strains cause 70% of the 12,000 cases of cervical cancers diagnosed annually in the U.S. Other forms of the sexually transmitted virus can cause penile and anal cancer, and genital warts. The HPV throat cancer connection has emerged in just the last few years and is so new that the government doesn’t track its incidence. Researchers believe it is transmitted via oral sex. But top researchers estimate that there are 11,300 HPV throat cancers each year in the U.S.–and the numbers are growing fast as people have been having more sexual partners since the 1960s. By 2015 there could be 20,000 cases. For more surprising discoveries about HPV,read here.

These big numbers have some top researchers arguing that drug makers should test whether HPV vaccines now used to prevent cervical cancer in women can also prevent throat infections in boys. Two vaccines, Gardasil from Merck ( MRK -news – people ) and Cervarix from GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK -news – people ), are approved for preventing cervical cancer. Gardasil is approved for use in boys only to prevent genital warts.

Vaccinating boys could stop this meteoric increase in throat cancer. “Clearly, boys need to be vaccinated,” says Marshall Posner, the incoming medical director of head and neck cancer at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. “I want my kids to be vaccinated. I don’t see a downside to these vaccines.”

There’s only one problem: The vaccine manufacturers aren’t terribly hot on the idea. GlaxoSmithKline says it has no plans to study throat cancer. It adds that it is “committed to providing a vaccine specifically designed to protect against cervical cancer in girls and young women.”

Merck, the maker of Gardasil, seemed more interested a couple of years ago. In 2008 it funded Maura Gillison, the Ohio State University researcher who established the HPV-throat-cancer link in 2000, to do a pilot study to show that test could reliably detect HPV infection in the throat. The pilot study was successful. By early 2009 Gillison says that a larger study of the vaccine in throat cancer looked close to being green lit.

But after Merck agreed to buy rival Schering-Plough ( SGP -news – people ) for $41 billion in March 2009, interest in a big study seemed to evaporate, Gillison says. In a statement, Merck says that “due to competing research and business priorities, we decided not to move ahead with an efficacy study at this time.”

The drug makers’ reticence probably stems from a fear that a throat-cancer vaccine would be hard to get approved. Papilloma viruses usually cause cancer slowly, causing pre-cancerous lesions that take many years to blossom into full-fledged malignant tumors. Papilloma viruses cause the horn-like growths in rabbits that probably gave rise to myths of “jackalopes” in the American West. In the cervix, early abnormal growths can be picked up with a diagnostic test, the Pap smear. Clinical trials of Gardasil and Cervarix took advantage of this, measuring the number of pre-cancerous growths prevented by the vaccines.

But there are no easy-to-detect pre-cancers in the throat. Adolescent boys would have to be followed for decades to to see if the vaccine prevented throat cancer, an unlikely scenario. Short of this, studies could only look at the prevention of HPV throat infections, not cancer or cancer precursors directly. Approving a vaccine for wide use based on this type of short-term data would require a leap of faith that the Food and Drug Administration might not be willing to take.

Top researchers say the federal government needs to step in and fund the long study if drug companies cannot be persuaded to do it themselves. “I’m sorry Merck decided not to do it,” says Posner. “But in the end, this is a federal responsibility. It’s a public health issue.”

For his part, Martin Duffy thinks that drug companies’ complacent attitude toward throat cancer would be different if more of their employees were in his situation. “It will change real fast,” he says, “if one of their executives comes down with this disease.”

Nine Things You Need To Know About HPV

July, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

AACR recognizes one-year anniversary of tobacco law and the additional provisions taking effect today; calls for more research to combat tobacco epidemic

Source: AACR
Author: Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Cancer Research recognizes the first anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2009.

The law empowered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the marketing, advertising and manufacturing of tobacco products. Provisions that go into effect today include restrictions on youth access to tobacco products, enhanced warning labels on smokeless tobacco products, and a ban on the use of deceptive terms such as “light” or “mild.”

“While most people know that cigarette smoking causes cancer, we need to do a far better job of educating the public about the risks of all tobacco products,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “In fact, there is sufficient scientific evidence to causally link tobacco use to cancers at 18 different organ sites. For example, smokeless tobacco alone can cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas, and new smokeless tobacco labels will help to deliver that message.”

Starting today, smokeless tobacco product labels must be larger, and incorporate messages including that smokeless tobacco is addictive and can cause mouth cancer.

“With nearly a third of all cancer deaths caused by tobacco use, it is imperative that the research community come together to support the FDA in its efforts to establish a science-based framework for evaluating the harms caused by tobacco products,” said Chairperson of the AACR Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer Roy S. Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and chief of the section of thoracic medical oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. “To fully combat the tobacco epidemic, more research is needed across the spectrum of tobacco use and attendant disease, from tobacco control — prevention of initiation, fostering cessation, and countering addiction — to preventing, treating and curing tobacco-related disease.”

“Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States, and I am delighted that the AACR is fully committed to working with the global community to reach the ultimate goal of a tobacco-free world,” said AACR President Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., Morris Herzstein professor of biology and physiology in the department of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco.

On April 13, 2010, the AACR issued an urgent call for immediate action to stem the global tide of tobacco-related death and suffering and to improve public health in a comprehensive policy statement on tobacco and cancer published in Cancer Research, a journal of the AACR. The statement is free and is available at

Read more about the AACR Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer.

July, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Hundreds of Chattanooga residents join together to support oral cancer survivor and raise awareness

Source: The Oral Cancer Foundation
Author: Staff

Chattanooga Walk Promotes Early Detection of Oral Cancer

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., June 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Recently, oral cancer survivor Jeanna Richelson, organized the first Chattanooga Oral Cancer Awareness Walk, which raised donations for the Oral Cancer Foundation, and much needed awareness of a disease that too few Americans know about. According to the foundation’s executive director Brian Hill, “I don’t believe there has ever been an oral cancer walk that was this successful in its first year. This was an absolutely amazing effort by Jeanna and those who helped her make this possible.”

Unlike other cancers we commonly hear about, oral cancer is a disease the majority of the public has heard little about, even though it has one of the highest death rates. Even with famous people who have passed away from this disease such as, Babe Ruth, Sigmund Freud, and George Harrison, it still receives little attention. While walks have become commonplace in many other diseases, raising awareness is no longer part of their function. By having a walk to raise awareness of oral cancer, it also raises awareness of risk factors that people might avoid, encourages simple inexpensive annual screenings, which will in turn reduce the death rate. Jamie O’Day, the treatment facilities coordinator for OCF commented, “This is a disease that in its early stages of development does not always produce symptoms that people might notice. Because of the insidious nature of oral cancer, annual screenings are essential to finding it as precancerous tissue changes, or at early stages of development when existing treatments are the most effective.”

Chattanooga, Tennessee derives its name from a Cherokee word that means “big catch” and refers to the great fishing that can be found on the Tennessee River.  And “big catch” is exactly what oral cancer awareness has landed in the way of Jeanna, a very determined Chattanooga-based engineer and oral cancer survivor, who is clearly on a mission.

Prior to the 2.5 mile walk, the hundreds of participants listened to inspirational stories by five oral cancer survivors: Jeanna;Amber Oliger; William Pressley; ABC Channel 9 TV personality Marcia Kling; and Charlie Poor, who drove from Atlanta to attend the event. The event’s emcee was Cydney Miller, Mrs. Tennessee International, who is a loyal advocate of early cancer detection. Local sponsors of the walk included Bonefish Grill, the Tennessee Titans NFL football team, Chattanooga’s Memorial Hospital, and BMW of Chattanooga who made very generous donations to ensure the events success.

According to Jeanna, “Our walk was a wonderful opportunity for oral cancer survivors to meet, share stories and, most of all, learn that they’re not alone.”  If anyone has a compelling story, it is Jeanna.  A lifelong non-smoker, she was diagnosed with cancer in a lymph node on the right side of her neck in 2001.  She underwent surgery to remove both the lymph node and her tonsils, where the disease had originally developed, hoping that her cancer was behind her.  But the disease was not going to become a thing of the past.

She married Robert Richelson in 2002, but six months after her wedding, she was diagnosed again with cancer at the base of her tongue.  Determined to get the best care possible for his wife, Robert quit his job and took his new bride to the world-renowned M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for several months of treatment including six weeks of radiation therapy.  The couple then returned to Chattanooga, where Jeanna received chemotherapy treatments for the remainder of the year.  She was cancer-free for two years, but in early 2005 the cancer returned, this time in her thyroid.  Jeanna and Robert headed back to M. D. Anderson for more radiation therapy.  By the time the therapy was completed, Jeanna had been subjected to over 90 radiation treatments.  Fortunately, they seem to have done the trick, as Jeanna has been cancer-free for four years.

In addition to an extremely supportive and caring husband, Jeanna has been blessed to have a very compassionate employer.  “Both times I had to take a leave of absence to get treatment, Siskin Steel could not have been more understanding,” said Jeanna.  “And each time my treatment was completed, I was welcomed back to my old position as if nothing had happened.”

Jeanna Richelson is fortunate to have a great husband and a great employer in her corner.  And the cause of oral cancer awareness is fortunate to have Jeanna Richelson on its team. She is already planning her repeat of this event for 2011.  “For all the things that the foundation does, from raising public awareness to sponsoring research, The Oral Cancer Foundation cannot fulfill our mission and reach our goals alone,” said Megan Cannon the operations manager for OCF. “Relationships with survivors and volunteers like Jeanna are a core component to seeing our goals of reducing the incidence and death rates from cancers of the mouth. Their passion and altruism to help others through events such as this will touch thousands of others, and help fund OCF in these tough economic times for non-profits.”

About the Oral Cancer Foundation: The Oral Cancer Foundation, founded by oral cancer survivor Brian R. Hill, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public service charity that provides information, patient support, sponsorship of research, and advocacy related to this disease. Oral cancer is the largest group of those cancers which fall into the head and neck cancer category. Common names for it include such things as mouth cancer, tongue cancer, head and neck cancer, and throat cancer. It maintains a Web site at, which receives millions of hits per month. At the forefront of this year’s agenda, is the drive to promote solid awareness in the minds of the American public about the need to undergo an annual oral cancer screening, and an outreach to the dental community to provide this service as a matter of routine practice. There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), a newly identified etiology, and the same one which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. Supporting the foundation’s goals is a scientific advisory board composed of leading cancer authorities from varied medical and dental specialties, and from prominent educational, treatment, and research institutions in the United States.

SOURCE Oral Cancer Foundation

June, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Combining surgery for removal of tissue and reconstruction

Source: MedicalNewToday
Author: Staff

Restoring people’s health and returning them to their daily lives as soon as possible is the goal following any surgery. When a person’s ability to eat and speak is affected, as with cancer in the mouth, surgery is particularly disruptive, creating a greater challenge. A one-step surgery can remove cancerous tissue and reconstruct bone and teeth functionality immediately, positively impacting the patient’s quality of life.

A case study in the June issue of the Journal of Oral Implantology describes a one-step surgery performed on a 65-year-old woman with squamous cell carcinoma. A two-year follow-up of this patient showed the one-step procedure to be successful.

Typically, ablative surgery is first performed to remove cancerous bone and tissue. The surgery is followed by radiotherapy, and often tooth loss. Reconstructing the jaw and placing a dental implant at this point are taxing due to the side effects of radiotherapy and poor patient tolerance.

The procedure outlined in this article permitted an impression to be taken immediately after the jaw reconstruction and implant installation during the initial surgery. A rigid prosthesis was fabricated and screw-secured to the implants 48 hours later. Complementary radiotherapy began six weeks following the surgery and implant. The prosthesis was modified as necessary six months after completion of the radiotherapy.

The advantages of single surgery include a reduced risk of osteonecrosis-disease in the jawbone-which can occur with postradiation surgery. A single surgery also can decrease the need for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The authors emphasize that this one-step surgery is possible because it respects the concepts of basal implantology. “Absolute primary implant stability and fabrication of a highly rigid prosthesis are essential from the outset,” they conclude.

Full text of the article, “Immediate Functional Loading of an Implant-Supported Fixed Prosthesis at the Time of Ablative Surgery and Mandibular Reconstruction for Squamous Cell Carcinoma,” Journal of Oral Implantology, Volume 36, Issue 1, 2010, is available here.

About Journal of Oral Implantology

The Journal of Oral Implantology is the official publication of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and of the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics. It is dedicated to providing valuable information to general dentists, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, periodontists, scientists, clinicians, laboratory owners and technicians, manufacturers, and educators. The JOI distinguishes itself as the first and oldest journal in the world devoted exclusively to implant dentistry.

Allen Press Publishing Services

June, 2010|Oral Cancer News|