Oral cancer cases on the rise in U.S. - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Oral cancer cases on the rise in U.S.

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Oral Cancer is one of the only cancers in the U.S. where the numbers are significantly increasing and not decreasing. 

Recent studies show that almost 40% of those diagnosed are young and non-smokers.  This is surprising news considering how many people think Oral Cancer cases are associated with older people and those who smoke and use tobacco. A link has been established between Oral Cancer and the Human Papillomavirus.

"That is now rampant throughout ages 19-41. It's because sex and saliva. Once somebody has the virus and it's dormant in their body they can pass it on," said Dr. Matthew Steinberg, a Dentist in west Austin.

There's a new revolutionary Cancer detecting device that's been used right here in Austin.  It is called Oral ID and it helps dentists detect and identify possible Oral Cancer.  The technology behind Oral ID was first used by cancer centers like MD Anderson to detect other cancers, but with the rise of Oral cancer it's become more important for dentists to carry this special tool. The dentist uses the special florescent light to shine into your mouth to look for any abnormalities.

"If it's disease tissue it will show up as dark," said Steinberg.

Oral ID has only been available on the market for about a year, so many dentists still do not use the technology. Steinberg says that will change soon.

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