Cancer is a condition in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through blood and lymph systems (metastasis). Cancer is caused by chronic inflammation. The DNA inside of cells is damaged during chronic inflammation which results in a very high rate of abnormal cell division, thus creating the disease of cancer.
TREATMENTS FOR CANCER
There are multiple treatments for cancer…..surgery (remove as much of the cancer as possible), chemotherapy (drugs are used to kill cancer cells), radiation treatment (cancer cells are killed with targeted radiation) and cryoablation (cancer cells are killed by targeted freezing). One of the latest cancer treatments is targeted monoclonal antibody therapy. In this treatment, specific antibodies for the cancer cells are grown in the laboratory and then injected back into the patient. These antibodies then specifically attack the cancer cells and do less damage to the surrounding non cancerous cells. At the present time, this new therapy is only effective against certain types of cancer.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND CANCER
The immune system is significantly suppressed during chemotherapy. This leaves the patient a “sitting duck” for any type of infection (such as periodontal bacteria) to invade the body, which could lead to life threatening sepsis. During chemotherapy it is very important for a patient to follow a very strict periodontal maintenance program. It is also important to complete any needed dental/periodontal treatment PRIOR TO beginning chemotherapy.
At Britt Perio, we have effective methods to correct active periodontal inflammation/infection prior to starting chemotherapy. We also have methods to prevent periodontal inflammation/infection during the period of time the patient is undergoing chemotherapy.