March 25, 2010
by Oral Health
SAVETHEFACE.ORG LAUNCHED TO MAKE ORAL CANCER SCREENING ROUTINE
VANCOUVER, CANADA (March 23, 2010) – PMI Labs of Vancouver is launching a “Save the Face” campaign to make oral cancer screening as routine as the Pap test.
Oral cancer rates are three times higher than cervical cancer rates in North America with a 50% mortality rate for both men and women, yet oral cancer screening is not routine practice in dentists’ or doctors’ offices.
People are not being screened because not enough is known about the problem. And there are few advocates. “We are setting about to change that because early detection of oral cancer is the key to saving lives,” said Lydia Taylor, Director, Corporate Development and Operations for PMI Labs.
PMI Labs has developed a test based on innovative technology from the BC Cancer Agency to determine whether suspicious areas in the mouth have cancerous potential. It is called OralAdvance™.
“Dentists like our test but can only use it if they see something during an oral cancer screening,” said Ms. Taylor. “The problem is that not very many people are being screened. This is alarming when you think about oral cancer incidence rates and 50% death rate.”
PMI Labs has launched a website and blog at www.SaveTheFace.org with information on oral cancer, dentists who currently screen, the Oral Advance™ test, and inspiring stories of people fighting oral cancer. The Save the Face campaign aims to empower people to ask for an oral cancer screening at their next dental visit and spread the word, with the goal of to changing oral cancer outcomes.
The highest risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco-, alcohol- and age-related but a remarkable 25% of oral cancers are not related to tobacco use. Oral cancer rates are also on the rise in younger populations. Because of this, the BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program and the College of Dental Surgeons of BC now recommend a comprehensive annual oral exam for everyone over the age of 40.
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