Simple Test Detects Dangerous Virus

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 8:05am

Dentists can now check for HPV with a saliva sample.

Some dentists are offering a simple saliva test to determine a patient's risk for contracting certain types of cancers.

The test determines the presence of HPV, the Human Papilloma virus, which can lead to cancer.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates 1,700 new cases a year in women and 5,700 in men.

25 percent of mouth and 35 percent of throat cancers are caused by HPV.

The cost for the test is $200, not covered by insurance.

Alcohol and tobacco use continue to be the main risk factors for oral cancer, and oral cancers related to HPV do have a higher survival rate.

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