Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity (SCCOC) and squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) represent two distinct disease entities. SCCOC continues to be related to tobacco risk factors, and the current anatomic staging system provides useful prognostic value. Most patients with SCCOP in Western countries now have HPV-associated tumors, and tumor HPV status is considered the most important prognostic factor. Smoking status is emerging as an important prognostic factor for HPV-driven SCCOP, independent of tumor HPV status. Sentinel lymph node biopsy and FDG-PET/CT imaging are diagnostic staging tools useful in select patients with SCCOC and SCCOP.
Keywords: Diagnosis; Evaluation; Human papillomavirus; PET; Prognosis; Sentinel lymph node biopsy; Smoking; Squamous cell carcinoma oral cavity; Squamous cell carcinoma oropharynx; Staging.
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