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New Recommendation Statement on Screening for Oral Cancer issued

Dec. 6, 2013
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has a new Recommendation Statement on Screening for Oral Cancer.(1) The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services for patients without related signs or symptoms. It bases its recommendations on the evidence of both the benefits and harms of the service and an assessment of the balance. The USPSTF does not consider the costs of providing a service in this assessment. The USPSTF recognizes that clinical decisions involve more considerations than evidence alone. Clinicians should understand the evidence but individualize decision making to the specific patient or situation. Similarly, the USPSTF notes that policy and coverage decisions involve considerations in addition to the evidence of clinical benefits and harms.“The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for oral cancer in asymptomatic adults. (I statement)”.(1)** For further information on the rationale for the recommendation, clinical considerations, and discussion, visit the website.(1). For more information on oral cancer, visit the Oral Cancer Foundation website.(2)
We are discussing sex-based differenced in this newsletter. There is one article that looked at the sex differences in the prognosis of acute or chronic inflammatory diseases, of which periodontitis is one.(3) The consequences of severe inflammation vary in relation to sex, depending on illness duration. In the majority of acute diseases, males present higher mortality rates, while continuous chronic inflammation associated with tissue damage is more harmful in females. The recruitment of cells, along with its clinical expression, is more significant in females, as reflected by higher inflammatory markers. The role of estrogens or androgens is discussed, as well as genes located on the X chromosome. Even if all results are not clear-cut, many studies have reported higher cytokine levels in both male humans and animals than in females. High IL-6 levels in males correlated with poorer prognosis and shorter longevity. A sound understanding of the basic regulatory mechanisms responsible for these sex differences may lead to new therapeutic targets.

Another new study paints a grim health picture for obese teens.(4) The authors say that physicians should inform families about short- and long-term consequences of obesity. Severely obese teens are at increased risk for a host of serious health problems as adults, including asthma, kidney disease and sleep disorders, according to the study.(4)

The researchers found that participants who were severely obese as teens had a greatly increased risk of serious health problems compared to those who were normal weight as teens. They were four times more likely to have swollen legs with skin ulcers; more than three times more likely to have severe walking limitations and abnormal kidney function; and much more likely to have asthma, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that can cause cysts on a woman's ovaries.(3)

For more information about the health consequences of obesity, visit the Weight-control Information Network website.(5)

And lastly, if you are an International Educator, please contact me by clicking on “Talk to the Editor”, and providing your name and email address!

Happy Holidays!

1. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf13/oralcan/oralcanfinalrec.htm.
2. http://oralcancerfoundation.org/.
3. Casimir GJ, Lefèvre N, Corazza F, and Duchateau J. Sex and inflammation in respiratory diseases: a clinical viewpoint. Biology of Sex Differences2013, 4:16. http://www.bsd-journal.com/content/4/1/16.
4. Inge TH, King WC, Jenkins TM, Courcoulas AP, Mitsnefes M, Flum DR, Wolfe BM, Pomp A, Dakin GF, Khandelwal S, Zeller MH, Horlick M, Pender JR, Chen J, and Daniels SR. The Effect of Obesity in Adolescence on Adult Health Status. Pediatrics 2013; 132:6 1098-1104; published ahead of print November 18, 2013, doi:10.1542/peds.2013-2185.
5. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/health_risks.htm.

** This statement is that of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and not necessarily that of the author or PennWell® Corporation.


Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS introductions by Maria Perno Goldie, click here.

To read more about oral cancer and dental hygiene, click here.