Oral Cancer Linked to HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

Vaccine, Designed for Cervical Cancer, May Fight Oral Cancer Too

Cervical cancer has made headlines recently with the introduction of a vaccine against the most vicious strains of the virus. A new study finds that these same strains are also linked to oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Though the vaccine is being marketed to young women as a way to fight cervical cancer, it may also decrease the risk of oral cancer.

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Cosmetic Dentist Sends John Lennon’s Tooth on a Magical Mystery Tour

Cosmetic Dentist Sends John Lennon's Tooth on a Magical Mystery TourJust eight months after purchasing a dental crown for $10,000 that once belonged to Elvis Presley, one of The Wealthy Dentist’s favorite dental marketing dentists, Dr. Zuk, has made news again.

The former cosmetic dentist, who also wrote the book, Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist, is now launching a campaign to fight against mouth cancer with a necklace made with one of John Lennon’s teeth.

Yes, you read that right — a famous Beatles’ tooth.

Dr. Zuk purchased John Lennon’s molar when it was put up for auction and decided to use part of the tooth to create a DNA necklace. Zuk teamed up with Beverly Hills celebrity jeweler, Ari Soffer to design a pendant with the peace sign, the internationally recognized symbol for peace.

This is not unusual for Dr. Zuk, who, in the past, has also purchased a piece of one of Elvis Presley’s scarves, a lock of Marilyn Monroe’s hair, the signature of Woody Woodpecker cartoonist Walter Lantz, and autographed pictures of musician Gene Simmons and Gilligan’s Island star Bob Denver.

But this time his latest purchase has gained more than just the attention of international news.  Chris Branfield, dental practice owner and member of the Marketing Pirates of Dentistry, heard about the necklace and wanted to share it with the world to raise the public’s awareness of mouth cancer.

To coincide with National Mouth Cancer Month, the tooth pendant is being shared with 16 dental practices across the UK offering free mouth screenings, promotions and cancer fundraising events at each of the dental practices.

Mr. Branfield told Northcliffe Media, “The [Marketing Pirates of Dentistry] group is always looking for things online and they were looking for something to do with the Beatles for their 50th anniversary. It’s a mad group but it’s about making connections with people.”

Mr. Branfield’s Castle Park Dental Care center will be the first dental practice in the UK to host Lennon’s tooth.

Only two other peace pendants are being made from John Lennon’s tooth dust, one is for Dr. Zuk himself, and the other is being given to Dr. Howard Farran by Dr. Zuk in recognition for his promotion of dental charities and his contributions to improving the dental profession.

To read more about this story, see How John Lennon’s Tooth is Fighting Cancer at Cottingham Dentist’s.

A special shout out to Dr Zuk: Thank you for contacting The Wealthy Dentist to let us know about your latest dental marketing enterprise!

Science Friday: Poor Oral Hygiene Linked to Higher Cancer Risk?

Science Friday: Poor Oral Hygiene Linked to Higher Cancer Risk?An observational Swedish study has revealed that out of almost 1400 people studied between 1985 and 2009 where 35 of the participants died of cancer, the cancer patients had higher levels of dental plaque than the survivors, as reported by Time.com.

The researchers at the Karolinska Institute and the University of Helsinki revealed that participants in the study with high levels of dental plaque were 80% more likely to die prematurely of cancer during the 24-year study period than people with little to no dental plaque.

According to the Austrailian News, the study authors wrote, “Our study hypothesis was confirmed by the finding that poor [mouth] hygiene, as reflected in the amount of dental plaque, was associated with increased cancer mortality.”

The reasearchers have not determined that bad oral hygiene actually causes cancer, but state that what they found was only observational. But they warn that plaque could be a contributing factor in people with existing genetic predispositions to cancer.

“We don’t know if dental plaque could be a real causal part of cancer,” lead author Birgitta Soder of the department of dental sciences at the Karolinska Institute tells Time.com. “But it is a little scary to see that something we all have in our mouths can play such a role.”

What are your thoughts? Do you think poor oral hygiene can contribute to a higher cancer risk?

Read more at: Got Plaque? It May Be Linked with Early Cancer Death

Science Friday: Saliva Test May Help Dentists Detect Oral Cancer Sooner

Science Friday: Saliva Test May Help Dentists Detect Oral Cancer SoonerMichigan State University surgeon Barry Wenig is teaming up with a Lansing-area dental benefits firm on a clinical trial to create a simple, cost-effective saliva test to detect oral cancer, a breakthrough that would drastically improve early oral cancer screening.

It is estimated that oral cancer kills one person, every hour, every single day.

Trimira’s Vice President Jerry Trzeciak states that “Oral cancer is typically detected by a doctor, not a dentist, by which time it is usually a late-stage diagnosis,” he said. “In fact, 40 percent of those diagnosed with oral cancer will be dead in five years and 78% diagnosed with Stage IV, late-stage cancer will be dead in five years. Early detection of oral cancer would improve the survival rate to 80 to 90%.”

Trzeciak noted that fewer than 15% of those who visit a dentist get screened regularly; rarely is the best available technology used.

“When you look at the five-year mortality rate for oral cancer, it’s scary,” Trzeciak said at the AAOMS 91st Annual Meeting in Toronto. “Oral cancer is more deadly than the more familiar cancers: breast, cervical, and prostate, and also more deadly than liver, kidney, thyroid, or colon cancers.”

Oral cancer is growing at double-digit rates, despite declines in alcohol and tobacco use. That is due to HPV-16 and -18 spread through all forms of sex, but particularly oral sex. For that reason, oral cancer is increasingly showing up in the young adult population. The fastest-growing group is females in their forties.

According to the Times, Wenig, a professor in the College of Human Medicine’s Department of Surgery and lead investigator on the project, is working with Delta Dental of Michigan’s Research and Data Institute to compile study data and recruit dentists.

The study will enrol 100-120 patients with white lesions or growths in their mouths and tonsil areas to test as part of the clinical trial.

Wenig and his team will be looking for certain biomarkers previously identified by researchers at UCLA; the biomarkers have been shown in studies to confirm the presence of oral cancer.

By creating a simple saliva test which could identify the biomarker’s presence, physicians and dentists would know which patients need treatment and which ones could avoid needless and invasive biopsies.

Wenig is collaborating with PeriRx, a Pennsylvania company that will sponsor upcoming trials with the Food and Drug Administration.

For more on this story see: Simple Saliva Test to Detect Oral Cancer Early

Science Friday: Medicated Patch Fights Oral Cancer

As reported by Health News Digest, researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a medicated oral patch that allows a chemoprevention drug to be released directly into precancerous lesions in the mouth over an extended time.

In the study published online by the journal Pharmaceutical Research, Dr. Susan Mallery and co-investigator, Dr. Peter Larsen of Ohio State, tested a patch using simulated saliva as well as lab animals.

From the Heath News Digest article –

The study evaluated the drug fenretinide, a synthetic derivative of vitamin A that has highly promising anti-cancer properties. Until now, scientists have failed to achieve a therapeutic, systemic dose of fenretinide because of drug toxicity and rapid release from the body. By using a new mucoadhesive patch invented by a team from Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) and the University of Michigan, the researchers developed a delivery system that can provide continuous drug therapy to saliva-coated oral tissue.

In an online report published March 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the authors found an alarming trend: incidences of oral tongue cancer climbed 111% in young white females. This patch is an important step in fighting this rising cancer epidemic.

For more on this story see: Medicated Patch Shows Promise in Oral Cancer Prevention


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