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Review

Oral Cancer and Precancer: A Narrative Review on the Relevance of Early Diagnosis

1
Dentistry and Stomatology-IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, University Vita-Salute, 20132 Milano, Italy
2
School of Medicine, University Vita-Salute, 20132 Milano, Italy
3
Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Department, San Raffaele Hospital, University Vita-Salute, 20132 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249160
Received: 20 October 2020 / Revised: 4 December 2020 / Accepted: 6 December 2020 / Published: 8 December 2020
Oral cancer (OC) is an uncommon malignancy in Western countries, being one of the most common cancers in some high-risk areas of the world. It is a largely preventable cancer, since most of the different risk factors identified, such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and betel nut chewing, are behaviors that increase the likelihood of the disease. Given its high mortality, early diagnosis is of utmost importance. Prevention and the anticipation of diagnosis begin with identification of potentially malignant lesions of the oral mucosa and with local conditions promoting chronic inflammation. Therefore, every lesion must be recognized promptly and treated adequately. The clinical recognition and evaluation of oral mucosal lesions can detect up to 99% of oral cancers/premalignancies. As stated by the World Health Organization, any suspicious lesion that does not subside within two weeks from detection and removal of local causes of irritation must be biopsied. Surgical biopsy remains the gold standard for diagnosis of oral cancer. Adjunctive tools have been developed and studied to help clinicians in the diagnostic pathway, such as toluidine blue vital staining and autofluorescence imaging. In the near future other methods, i.e., identification of salivary markers of progression may help in reducing mortality due to oral cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: oral health; oral pathology; primary prevention; oral healthcare; risk factors; oral cancer; pre-malignancies oral health; oral pathology; primary prevention; oral healthcare; risk factors; oral cancer; pre-malignancies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abati, S.; Bramati, C.; Bondi, S.; Lissoni, A.; Trimarchi, M. Oral Cancer and Precancer: A Narrative Review on the Relevance of Early Diagnosis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9160. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249160

AMA Style

Abati S, Bramati C, Bondi S, Lissoni A, Trimarchi M. Oral Cancer and Precancer: A Narrative Review on the Relevance of Early Diagnosis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(24):9160. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249160

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abati, Silvio, Chiara Bramati, Stefano Bondi, Alessandra Lissoni, and Matteo Trimarchi. 2020. "Oral Cancer and Precancer: A Narrative Review on the Relevance of Early Diagnosis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 24: 9160. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249160

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