Oral Cancer Screening: Reviewing the New Technologies

There are many technologies that boast of the ability to detect pre-cancer conditions for oral cancer.  These oral cancer screening technologies look for abnormal cells that when detected will allow the physician to be able to more precisely locate risk areas and do a more thorough assessment.  However, the question arises: “Do these technologies truly live up to their claims?”

The research in the article Oral Precancer and Early Cancer Detection- A Review of Technologies by Jerry E. Bouquot, DDS, MSD, Patricia Suarez, DDS, MS and Nadarajah Vigneswaran, BDS, DMD3 provides an overview and summary of the technologies that are out there, determining if they are what they claim to be.

In reviewing oral cancer screening, the procedures that are covered are:

  • The Brush Biopsy
  • Toluidine Blue – in Vivo Staining of DnA in the Dental Office
  • The ViziLite – Highlighting the Keratin
  • Oral Autofluorescence – When the Mucosa doesn’t glow

In conclusion on their oral cancer screening technology review they had this to say:

“Our intention is not to recommend one of these technologies over another, but the future looks most bright for the optical autofluorescence technology (pardon our pun), combined with either a biopsy, brush biopsy or LBC. All devices have limitations and the published research is sparse, but until other methods are developed, such as the use of molecular markers in salivary proteomics or genomics, it is heartening to know that relatively acceptable in-office devices are already available and can be used as adjunctive diagnostic tools. Refinements and continued research will undoubtedly improve our ability to detect, at the earliest possible stage, dysplastic changes in our patients, and new technologies may emerge quickly which will prove much more valuable. Until then, it is refreshing to be practicing dentistry during a time of such exciting emerging technologies attempting to address one of the most frustrating and serious of our oral diagnostic dilemmas.”

Click here for the complete article on oral cancer screenings technologies.

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Photo Credit: Oral Cancer


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