Overview of oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma: Risk factors, mechanisms, and diagnostics

Oral Oncol. 2021 Oct:121:105451. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2021.105451. Epub 2021 Jul 28.


Oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) is the most common malignancy of the oral cavity. The substantial risk factors for OCSCC are the consumption of tobacco products, alcohol, betel quid, areca nut, and genetic alteration. However, technological advancements have occurred in treatment, but the survival decreases with late diagnosis; therefore, new methods are continuously being investigated for treatment. In addition, the rate of secondary tumor formation is 3-7% yearly, which is incomparable to other malignancies and can lead to the disease reoccurrence. Oral cavity cancer (OCC) arises from genetic alterations, and a complete understanding of the molecular mechanism involved in OCC is essential to develop targeted treatments. This review aims to update the researcher on oral cavity cancer, risk factors, genetic alterations, molecular mechanism, classification, diagnostic approaches, and treatment.

Keywords: Diagnostic; Genetic alterations; Oral cavity cancer (OCC); Oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC); Risk factor; Signaling; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Risk Factors
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck* / diagnosis
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck* / epidemiology
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck* / genetics