An update on oral cavity cancer: epidemiological trends, prevention strategies and novel approaches in diagnosis and prognosis

Mark Gormley Emily Gray Charlotte Richards Alex Gormley Rebecca C. Richmond Emma E. Vincent Tom Dudding Andrew R. Ness Steven J. Thomas

An update on oral cavity cancer: epidemiological trends, prevention strategies and novel approaches in diagnosis and prognosis

Authors: Mark Gormley Emily Gray Charlotte Richards Alex Gormley Rebecca C. Richmond Emma E. Vincent Tom Dudding Andrew R. Ness Steven J. Thomas
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00032Gormley09

Abstract

In the UK, the incidence of oral cavity cancer continues to rise, with an increase of around 60% over the past 10 years. Many patients still present with advanced disease, often resulting in locoregional recurrence and poor outcomes, which has not changed significantly for over four decades. Changes in aetiology may also be emerging, given the decline of smoking in developed countries. Therefore, new methods to better target prevention, improve screening and detect recurrence are needed. High-throughput ‘omics’ technologies appear promising for future individual-level diagnosis and prognosis. However, given this is a relatively rare cancer with significant intra-tumour heterogeneity and variation in patient response, reliable biomarkers have been difficult to elucidate. From a public health perspective, implementing these novel technologies into current services would require substantial practical, financial and ethical considerations. This may be difficult to justify and implement at present, therefore focus remains on early detection using new patient-led follow-up strategies. This paper reviews the latest evidence on epidemiological trends in oral cavity cancer to help identify at risk groups, population-based approaches for prevention, in addition to potential cutting-edge approaches in the diagnosis and prognosis of this disease. Keywords: Epidemiology, Oral Cancer, Survival, Risk Factors, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Mouth Neoplasms

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