Essentials of oral cancer

Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Sep 1;8(9):11884-94. eCollection 2015.


Oral cancer is one of the 10 most common cancers in the world, with a delayed clinical detection, poor prognosis, without specific biomarkers for the disease and expensive therapeutic alternatives. This review aims to present the fundamental aspects of this cancer, focused on squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity (OSCC), moving from its definition and epidemiological aspects, addressing the oral carcinogenesis, oral potentially malignant disorders, epithelial precursor lesions and experimental methods for its study, therapies and future challenges. Oral cancer is a preventable disease, risk factors and natural history is already being known, where biomedical sciences and dentistry in particular are likely to improve their poor clinical indicators.

Keywords: Mouth neoplasms; carcinogenesis; neoplasm staging; oral cancer; oral squamous cell carcinoma; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / therapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Precancerous Conditions* / epidemiology
  • Precancerous Conditions* / genetics
  • Precancerous Conditions* / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions* / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck