Soon there may be a new and easier way to treat oral cancer.
To this point when cancer is identified in the mouth the treatment usually consists of a surgical removal of the cancer, but researchers may be onto a less invasive, potential non-surgical treatment modality!
Mice were given a form of human oral cancer and were treated with something called capsazepine. Capsazepine blocks capsaicin which is the ingredient in chili powder that makes chili’s taste hot. When Capsazepine was applied to the tumors it resulted in tumor shrinkage while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. Researchers from the School of Dentistry and School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio conducted the study. The information appears in Oral Oncology.
During my 20 plus years in dentistry the methods for detection of oral cancers has become more technical and advanced in acuracy. Oral squamous cell carcinoma, usually the cancer found in the head, neck and mouth, ranks eighth on the list of most common forms of cancer in the United States. There are roughly 40,000 new cases and 8,000 deaths each year.
Hopefully there will be more to come with this in the future!