Miami, FL - Here are the facts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. It is a killer. It can cause six types of cancer and most people who become infected with HPV do not know they have the virus. More than 21,000 HPV associated cancers are diagnosed in women each year in the US alone; cervical cancer is the most common. More than 12,000 HPV associated cancers are diagnosed each year in men; oral cancers are the most common. Considering that almost every sexually active person will acquire HPV at some point in their lives, odds are that you either have it, have had it, or will have it at some point in time. Astonishingly, there are 40 different types of HPV that infect the genital areas and the mouth and throat. A person can carry HPV years after having sexual contact with an infected person. In fact, most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus on to a sex partner.
These are grim statistics, but when you add in that almost 65 percent of all oral cancers are linked to the HPV virus through oral sex, the stats become alarming. It’s estimated that more than 2,500 new cases of HPV associated oral cancers will be diagnosed in women this year. Over 9,500 cases will be diagnosed in men. Most of the time, HPV goes away by itself within a couple of years and does not cause health problems. The immune system fights off the virus naturally. It’s only when certain types of HPV do not go away over time that it can cause these cancers.
There’s no way to know which people will go on to develop cancer. Proper, regular screening is the key to catching these cancers early, and in the case of oral cancers, this screening is performed by a dentist through a Comprehensive Oral Exam (COE) as well as the use of cutting edge adjunctive visualization devices.
LED Medical Diagnostics Inc. (OTCQX: LEDIF) (TXS V: LMD) (FSE: LME) is the manufacturer of the VELScope® Vx adjunctive device, a tissue fluorescence visualization technology that, to date, has saved thousands of lives through more than 25 million screenings. Based upon its well-documented performance, the company has successfully leveraged this revolutionary hand-held device within the dental vertical. In fact, over 13,000 dentists in 23 countries are currently using the VELscope® Vx to adjunctively screen patients for oral cancer. The fact is that LED Medical is offering a device that could become the industry standard in oral cancer screening in dental offices within the next five years.
VELscope technology allows the dentist to non-invasively detect tissue changes underlying the surface of the soft tissue mucosa. The hand-held tool emits a blue light into the oral cavity causing normal tissue to fluoresce. The healthcare provider is then able to view the various fluorescence responses to help differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue. And consider this. In a recurrence study in which VELscope® technology was used to delineate oral cancer margins during surgery there was a 0 percent recurrence of the cancer compared to a 25 percent recurrence with non VELscope® aided surgeries. Pretty convincing numbers.
The medical device sector is growing daily as new tools are patented and brought to market to aid in our fight against diseases such as cancer. Whether it’s the latest syringe or, as in LED Medical’s case, tissue fluorescence visualization, cutting edge technology translates into rewards for investors who find the right company. Firms such as Cardica Inc. (NASDAQ: CRDC), LED Medical Inc., and Unilife Corporation (NASDAQ: UNIS) are all worth a good look as an addition to your portfolio. All three have plenty of room for growth, fill commendable niches within their specific device fields and offer good opportunities for financial gain.
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