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    Progress in Fighting Oral Cancer

    There’s promising news in the fight against oral cancer—both in science and in practice. 

    On the science front, black raspberries have been shown to inhibit its development in rodents, as reported in Dentistry Today.  A recent study was conducted at The Ohio State University, and researchers also identified the cancer-related genes that may explain this effect.

    Apparently there has been some progress in showing this association in humans, so the Ohio State team wanted to see if the same effects were happening in rats. In doing so, they have “found a suitable animal model to understand how black raspberries work in inhibiting oral cancer in people.”

    According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the rate of occurrence of oral cancer has been increasing for more than a decade. Approximately 48,250 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2016. One of the specific dangers of oral cancer is that the majority of cases today are found in late stage, which means a high death rate of about 43 percent at five years from diagnosis.

    So, another great tool for fighting oral cancer is early detection—an area in which dentists can be the first line of defense. According to the Foundation, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate when found at the early stage.

    Cancer screenings in the dentist’s office could catch cases of oral cancer in its early stages, but patients, as well, need to be aware of changes in their mouths and report any that arise.

    Public awareness is an important step in this fight, so pay attention to your mouth, and make sure your dentist does too!