Oral cancer is at once potentially deadly and potentially treatable. The sooner oral cancer is detected, the more treatable it is. Early detected cancers can be treated less invasively and have a higher survival rate. By detecting the HPV virus before your cancer even begins to develop, the OraRisk HPV test can tell us whether you’re at an elevated risk for oral cancer. This will tell us whether we should be on the lookout for cancer and ensure that your cancer is detected at an early, treatable stage.
The test is very simple for us to administer. You just swish and gargle with a salt water solution, then spit the solution into a funneled collection jar. We send the jar off to the lab where they test the solution to determine whether you have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and, if so, what kind.
There are many kinds of HPV, and not all of them are associated with oral cancers. Your OraRisk HPV test not just shows us whether you have HPV, but whether the HPV strain(s) you have are associated with oral cancer. You will get a risk report that characterizes each HPV as being high, low, or unknown risk (unfortunately we haven’t identified all HPV strains and their level of risk), and give you an assessment of your overall risk.
Although essentially anyone could benefit from an OraRisk HPV test, there are some people that should definitely have the test, including:
These patients would benefit from increased knowledge about their risk status and from increased vigilance. It is estimated that 80% of people contract HPV, but most infections do not lead to increased cancer risk.
Some HPV infections are transient—they develop and resolve spontaneously. Other HPV infections persist.
A virus is an organism that can’t reproduce on its own. In order to reproduce, it takes over cells, inserting its DNA into the cell’s DNA. Normally, this turns the cell into a virus factory and the cell dies after producing as many viruses as it can. The human immune system also targets and removes infected cells. In some HPV infections, though, the mutated cells survive, and are not detected by the immune system. These altered cells have been programmed to become a factory, but instead of producing viruses, they reproduce themselves aggressively, which is what we call cancer.
We can help you determine whether you are infected with a cancer-causing strain of HPV so that you can maintain appropriate vigilance about its potential effects.
To schedule your OraRisk HPV test in Beverly Hills, please contact Nicolas A. Ravon DDS MSD today.