New oral cancer detecting technology now in Philippines | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

MANILA, Philippines—A new technology used to scan mouth lesions can now be a life-saving tool to detect possible oral malignancies.

With a 95-percent accuracy rate, the innovation will be used in the country ahead of its Asian neighbors to detect and cure oral cancers in their early stages.

Called “OralAdvance,” the scanning procedure entails both cytological and DNA analysis that provides results as quickly as five days.

“For the first time, we can now be years ahead in detecting oral cancers as we can now examine lesions even before they become malignant,” Dr. Michael Aragon of the Philippine Medical Association disclosed.

The PMA, along with a foreign medical firm and visiting doctors, launched the “OralAdvance” detection system in marking World Cancer Day on Saturday.

Noting that the technology would be first used in the Philippines, the PMA said it planned to accredit hospitals and dental clinics that would scrape samples off patients’ mouths and send them to a central laboratory in Cavite for testing.

It said that the St. Dominic’s Medical Center in Bacoor, Cavite, would be the first laboratory with other testing laboratories planned to service Northern Luzon provinces and Metro Manila.

“This will be a tool that can help in early detection. Unlike biopsy, this is virtually painless and will only take three minutes,” Aragon said.

The scraped tissue from the lesions will be examined through exfoliative cytology to determine which cells are normal and through DNA analysis.

Dr. Roland dela Rosa said the procedure was similar to a pap smear, a routine cervical cancer screening for women.

“It is possible to see the early changes in the mucosa, so it will be as easy as checking your mouth when you say ahh on your trip to the dentist,” he said.

Risk factors that can lead to oral cancer are tobacco-smoking, pollution, second-hand smoke and human papillomavirus.

Aragon said that at P3,850 per scan, the method was a cheap price to pay for early detection of cancers of the mouth.

He added that the samples would be interpreted by a computer, providing results deemed 95 percent to 98 percent accurate. In addition, he said, the results would also be examined by a pathologist.

“The earlier we detect cancer, the better the chances for a cure. It is preventable,” Aragon said.

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