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Tackling Oral Cancer With New Spit Test

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Fox News

Doctors David Samadi and Marc Siegel of the FOX News Medical A Team discuss a simple new method of testing for oral cancers, as well as its possible diagnostic and treatment applications.

The new test, developed over the last decade at UCLA, allows doctors to use small amounts of saliva to test the levels of two genes that have been identified as flags for head, neck and even lung cancer. According to Dr. Samadi, using conventional testing methods, these kinds of cancers are often at an advanced stage by the time they are found, which may require risky, and sometimes disfiguring surgery to treat properly. Using this new test, such cancers could be detected far earlier, often negating the need for invasive surgery.

Dr. Siegal goes on to say that doctors at UCLA have also found that saliva testing can reveal certain proteins that are present in the cancer - information that can be used to prescribe combinations of drug treatments far more accurately than is currently possible.

Both doctors remind us that smoking and alcohol are the leading causes of oral cancer.

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