Chin J Dent Res 18 (2015), No. 1 27. Mar. 2015
Oral cancer is a fatal disease, which accounts for the fourth highest incidence of malignancy in males and the seventh highest in the general population of Taiwan. About 95% of oral cancer is oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The relatively high prevalence of OSCC in Taiwan is mainly because a high-risk group of the population exists, made up of 2.5 million people and who exhibit habits of betel nut chewing as well as cigarette smoking. Unfortunately, about 50% of the new OSCC cases found in medical centers presented with TNM stage III or IV cancer lesions leading to a low 5-year survival. Therefore, it is generally accepted that the prevention and screening of OSCC at early stages or premalignant levels in the high-risk group of the population is as equally important as treatment. In this review article, we describe the current status of OSCC in Taiwan regarding epidemiology. Furthermore we research and highlight the importance of various conventional and novel methods in the detection of this disease.
Keywords: betel nut, cigarette smoking, detection, OSCC, prevention