Review Article

Oral Cancer

Author: Ambarkova Vesna

Epidemiological studies have provided a stronger association between tobacco use and oral cancer. The alcohol is also a significant risk factor, having a multiplicative synergistic cancer promoting effect with tobacco. Biannual dental checkups are very important to keep dentists up to date about oral health of their patients. Risk factors for developing oral cancer other than tobacco and alcohol are dental causes which act as a trigger, occupational exposure, HPV, EBV, HIV, Herpes simplex infection, as well as immunological and genetic predisposition. The screening methods used are toluidine blue, VEL scope, bush biopsy, tissue biopsy. The diagnosis is made clinically, histopathologically, and with a imaging tests. Imaging tests for oral cancer are Computed Tomography (CT) Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Depending on the type, location, and stage of the cancer at diagnosis, treatment for oral cancer will be very different. Treatment at early stages of oral cancers usually involves surgery to remove the tumor and cancerous lymph nodes. Radiation therapy, Chemoterapy medicines and Biological therapies could be also involved. The literature has even described attempts to treat oral cancer with gene therapy.