Written by Dentistry Today Monday, 15 April 2013 11:32
Oral cancer has met its match. Oral Cancer Awareness Week was created by people who saw the anguish that oral cancer can cause and refused to give up. This week is in memory of all those who have suffered and died from the disease and in honor of those who are fighting against it. As the disease is still on the rise in women, young people and non-smokers, the best weapon in this fight is prevention.
With the advent of the OralCDx computer-assisted brush biopsy, oral cancer has been made a largely preventable disease. Every primary care physician, otolaryngologist, oral surgeon and dentist has available to them this quick and painless test that is used to brush the small, common white or red tissue spots found in many people's mouths to rule out any still-harmless but precancerous changes.
"Every day, I have the privilege of walking into my office and learning that we saved another life by detecting oral precancer, whether a 28-year-old pregnant woman or the brother of one of our employees," says Mark Rutenberg, CEO of CDx Diagnostics, makers of the OralCDx brush biopsy. "Having the most extensive database of information on oral cancer and dysplasia (precancer) has provided us with details about the disease that have never existed before."
Once the patient's oral spot is tested with a specially designed biopsy brush, the laboratory at CDx Diagnostics does the heavy lifting. The over 100,000 cells found on each patient's slide are first analyzed by a unique system that is based on a computer developed for the "Star Wars" missile defense system from the Department of Defense. Once these proprietary computers detect the most suspicious-looking cells, the images of these cells are then analyzed by the specialized, on-site pathologists.
As the small brush is backed by large science, every doctor that utilizes the test is backed by CDx Diagnostics' internal clinical support team of pathologists and oral cancer specialists.
"Whether a diagnosis shows abnormalities or a doctor has a question or concern, we are in touch with them on a regular basis," says Dr. Ron Lowenstein, Director of Clinical Support at CDx Diagnostics. "Each case is given special attention, and our team helps guide the doctors with suggestions for next steps when appropriate."
Just this month, renowned film critic Roger Ebert passed away. He was a victim of oral cancer, alongside Bruce Paltrow, famous film producer and director, and father of Gwyneth Paltrow. In recent years, celebrity survivors of oral cancer have pleaded with the public to take small steps to help protect themselves from oral cancer, including Michael Douglas, Colleen Zenk Pinter and renowned Alinea Chef Grant Achatz.
"In addition to its terrible toll on pain, morbidity and mortality, oral cancer has a devastating impact on appearance, ability to eat, socialize and even breathe," says Dr. Steven A. Guttenberg, DDS, MD. "The OralCDx brush biopsy is an excellent tool for the diagnosis of precancerous and cancerous lesions in the mouth. Not only has it saved many of my patients' lives, but it has also prevented enormous amounts of suffering and disabilities."
For more information about OralCDx or to find a local dentist who offers the test, call (877) 71-BRUSH or visit www.OralCDx.com
About CDx Diagnostics
CDx Diagnostics (www.CDxDiagnostics.com) is the leader in the detection and prevention of cancers of the esophagus, oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx. The CDx tests are primarily used to help prevent cancer before it can start by identifying still-harmless dysplasia (precancer), and are also used to identify early stage cancers when they can be most easily cured. Clinicians use CDx patented brush biopsy instruments to non-invasively collect a broad, full thickness tissue specimen of a suspect lesion. This unique tissue specimen is then subjected to specialized, computer-assisted laboratory analysis. These life saving tests are nationally available to gastroenterologists, otolaryngologists, oral surgeons, periodontists, and dentists.