Dental Test for Breast Cancer

If breast cancer could be 1) ___ earlier, maybe it would not be the second leading cause of death among US women. Dental research has found that the 2) ___ levels in saliva have great potential to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of breast cancer. General dentists are perfect candidates to assist with this type of diagnosis, because they can easily 3) ___ saliva samples from a patient’s mouth during routine visits. Because most patients visit the dentist more frequently than their physician, it makes sense that this diagnostic tool be used. This method of early diagnosis is not yet approved by the 4) ___. If it does receive approval, dentists and physicians could use it to collaboratively diagnose breast cancer. Salivary testing would not eliminate the need for regular 5) ___ screening or blood analysis. If the salivary screening did show a positive result, a mammogram or other imaging test would be necessary to determine in which breast the cancer was located. The advantages of salivary testing are that it is safe, doesn’t need needles, and there is no pain. Also, there is no requirement of special 6) ___ or equipment needed. Source: March/April 2007 issue of General Dentistry, (published by the Academy of General Dentistry).

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