Preventive measures in oral cancer: An overview

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Nov;107:72-80. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.07.114. Epub 2018 Aug 3.


Worldwide oral cancer is creating an alarming situation and it's a matter of global concern as it is the 11th most common carcinoma around the globe. After cardiovascular ailments, cancer is the next biggest killer. Approximately 90% of the total oral malignancies are squamous cell carcinomas. The etiological base of oral cancer is tobacco intake, smoking, smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco), alcohol and areca nut intake, excessive sunlight exposure, reverse end smoking and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The treatment measures for oral cancer are very costly and affordability is low. So, taking preventive measures at the first place itself is of immense importance. Preventive measure is a multidisciplinary approach involving co-ordinated efforts from all the sectors of the society. The preventive measures are categorised into primary, secondary and tertiary measures. Along with the various screening tests employed to detect oral cancer the review focuses on biomarkers, melatonin, tea constituents, polyphenols, chemoprevention, Chios mastic gum extract, Poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerase 1 (PARP1) targeted optical imaging agent, and their role in oral cancer prevention and control. The review gives a brief outline on the preventive measures to be adopted to help prevent oral cancer and improve the quality of life.

Keywords: Oral cancer; Pharmaco-economics; Preventive measures in oral cancer; Salivary biomarkers; Screening test; Squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Chemoprevention
  • Humans
  • Mouth Neoplasms / economics
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / therapy


  • Biomarkers, Tumor