Dental Tribune USA

Seattle Mariners step up to the plate for oral cancer screenings

By Dental Tribune America
April 22, 2015

HOUSTON, Texas, USA: Baseball is the great American pastime, but it has also carried along with it a few bad habits through the years, including the use of tobacco. In late February, the Seattle Mariners reported to Peoria, Ariz., for spring training. Once there, the players and coaches went through several health tests and screenings to ensure they are in “tip top” shape.

This year, Forward Science Technologies, creator of OralID, an oral cancer-screening device using fluorescence technology, teamed up with the Mariners to enhance their pre-season health protocol. Dr. Robert Levine and Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health pre-doctoral students conducted oral health exams on the players and coaches. The screening included the requisite head and neck exams, followed by an OralID fluorescence exam.

“The Seattle Mariners are one of the very few MLB teams that utilize this potential life saving technology, stressing the importance of oral health assessments for all players,” said Robert Levine DDS, assistant professor at the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ASDOH) and director of laser sciences at A.T. Still University. “We have worked with the principals at [Forward Science Technologies] for almost a decade now, and the simplistic design OralID allows all clinicians to be able to easily incorporate a technology for early discovery, in efforts to save more lives.”

OralID’s fluorescent, or blue light, technology has been proven to save lives, according to Forward Science Technologies. The key to decreasing oral cancer cases is to catch it in its earlier stages, before it is actually cancer and visible with the naked eye; the whole reason why OralID was created, the company said. OralID separates itself from other devices because it does not require disposables, rinses or dyes, resulting in no per-patient costs. This allows screenings to be portable and also affordable not only for the patient, but for the dentist.

In addition to screenings, the dental professionals also educated the players on the risks associated with tobacco use. OralID Regional Sales Manager Kelly Kunkel shared the focus on education during the exam. The players were educated on the dangers of chewing tobacco, as well as the correlation of HPV and oral cancer.

“As a former college athlete, I have seen first-hand the tobacco abuse in not only baseball, but all sports,” said Robert J. Whitman, CEO of Forward Science Technologies, who played college baseball at Tulane University. “As cliché as it sounds, to change the trends on oral cancer it will truly take a team effort.”

“Dr. Levine and the Seattle Mariners have gone above and beyond in enhanced screenings and education for their entire organization,” Whitman said. “We challenge all other organizations to join the movement with OralID against oral cancer.”

Every hour, one American dies of oral cancer. This is a critical number that Forward Science Technologies does not take lightly, the company said.

(Source: Forward Science Technologies)

 

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