Scientists at UCLA’s School of Dentistry are leading the charge in developing a simple saliva test to detect and diagnose early stage oral cancer as well as diabetes.
Using genomes and bioinformatics, the researchers analyzed millions of genetic sequences and found that saliva contains many of the same disease-revealing molecules that are found in blood.
Researchers hope to identify and define molecular markers in saliva so that early diagnoses can be made on oral cancer and other diseases like type 2 diabetes, pancreatic and gastric cancers.
“If you don’t look in saliva, you may miss important indicators of disease,” says Senior study author David Wong, DMD, DMSc. “There seems to be treasure in saliva, which will surprise people.”
Scientists predict that dentists will one day be able to take saliva samples to analyze for diseases. They also say that this research could lead to the development of self-diagnostic devises, such as wearable gear that informs you whether you have a disease even BEFORE you have any symptoms.
Stay tuned as clearly monumental changes could be imminent for cancer diagnoses.
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