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Genetic Test Helps Identify Those at High Risk for Mouth and Throat Cancer

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This type of test is already being used to test for risk of other types of cancers, so the technology is available in some medical centers.

Currently, there's not a lot that can be done for people at high risk for oral cancer aside from surgically removing the white patches completely, which is no guarantee that cancer won't develop elsewhere in the mouth. Several studies are currently underway, though, for drugs called chemoprevention therapy that are designed to stop cancer before it starts. Lippman and Posner agree that those identified at high risk for oral cancer by tests such as this one should seriously consider enrolling in the clinical trials that study these drugs.

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