World Cancer Day: New technology for oral cancer detection

World Cancer Day, established on 4 February 2000 at the World Cancer Summit Against Cancer for the New Millenium, Paris is observed annually to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.

The new World Cancer Day 2022-2024 campaign theme, Close the care gap, is about identifying and addressing the barriers that exist for many people around the world in accessing the care they need.

This article highlights a recent breakthrough achieved by Indian scientists in detecting oral cancer in its early stages. Also, it highlights some cost-effective products that have shown great results in improving the quality of life of cancer patients.

Oral cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer worldwide, to which India adds almost one-third of the total burden. India is the second country with the highest number of oral cancer cases.

There is a much higher chance of survival if diagnosed early. As the disease advances, the survival rates drop. Unfortunately, most oral cancer lesions remain undetected until they have progressed to an advanced stage. Hence early and accurate detection remains critical. Normally, tissue biopsy is considered the gold standard for this diagnosis. A biopsy is a procedure where you remove a piece of a tissue sample from the suspected area of the body and test it in a laboratory. Tissue biopsy remains an invasive procedure that also requires optimal clinical settings.

In a recent breakthrough, IIT Kharagpur scientists have developed a user-friendly device for oral cancer detection that will be useful in resource-constrained clinical settings. The new device, which is portable and non-invasive, has undergone a double-blinded clinical trial in Guru Nanak Institute of Dental Sciences andResearch, Kolkata. The research findings have been published in PNAS.

The new device is a blood perfusion imager, which detects the alterations in microcirculation (blood flow) in suspected areas using a miniature far-infrared camera and a humidity sensor. Machine learning-based quantitative analytics further augment its ability to identify pre-cancerous and cancerous features in oral lesions with great accuracy and good predictive capabilities.

Compared to the gold-standard biopsy-based tests, the new technology has demonstrated a sensitivity of >96.66% and specificity of 100% in accurately detecting oral cancer and precancer lesions in a resource-limited clinical setting. The technology will likely undergo extensive field trials before getting a commercial license for clinical use.

ICPA Health Products Ltd. has been on the forefront in spreading awareness about oral cancer and providing cost-effective high-quality products to help cancer patients and improve their life-quality. Coolora mouthwash contains Benzydamine hydrochloride BP 0.15 %w/v. Benzydamine mouthwash is considered the gold standard among anti-inflammatory agents in the management of oral mucositis in cancer patients.

International cancer societies recommend benzydamine mouthwash for relief in intolerable oral mucositis cases.

Benzydamine mouthwash is the only anti-inflammatory agent with evidence in the prevention of Oral Mucositis to date.

Another product from ICPA that is widely prescribed by oncologiosts across India is Wet Mouth, which is a saliva substitute designed to moisten and relieve the discomfort from chronic dry mouth (xerostomia) which is a common side effect of cancer treatment.


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