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ADA responds to Consumer Reports on oral cancer screenings

March 18, 2013

By Jean Williams, ADA News staff

ADA and American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology leaders have co-signed a letter expressing their disappointment with advice on oral cancer screenings that appeared in the March Consumer Reports magazine.

The article “Save Your Life: Cancer Screening is Oversold. Know the Tests to Get—and Those to Skip” was accompanied by a sidebar article, “Three Tests to Get—and Eight to Avoid.”

The March 1 letter, co-signed by ADA President Robert A. Faiella and AAOMP President Paul D. Freeman, states, “We are disappointed that the March 2013 issue of Consumer Reports dissuades most people from routine oral cancer screenings. ...

“These non-invasive visual and tactile examinations, (which are generally included with no additional fee for the cancer screening component) can result in earlier diagnosis of oral cancer specifically but also a multitude of other oral diseases in general,” the letter said.

It also said: “The ADA and AAOMP will continue to support and encourage scientific investigations regarding detection of oral cancer with the firm belief that one missed oral cancer is one too many.”

The ADA and AAOMP invited the Consumer Reports editor to ask its readers to visit the ADA's consumer information website,, or the AAOMP's, for more information and to visit their dentists regularly.