Kristen B. Pytynia, MD, MPH, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at The University of Illinois-Chicago. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explore this issue:February 2008
Oral screening exams are inexpensive, are easy to perform, and have the potential to reduce the annual global mortality for oral cancer by tens of thousands of people. So why isn’t screening for oral cancer as effective as screening at other sites, such as breast, colon, or prostate? Are we evaluating the wrong people, performing the screening incorrectly, or just not screening at all? What are the factors influencing our lack of success at early detection of oral cancers via screening? And with the rise in HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers, can screening help early detection of tonsil or base-of-tongue disease?
More than 40,000 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck are diagnosed annually in the United States. New strategies are needed for reducing the morbidity and mortality of head and neck cancer, particularly since multiple treatment advances have not significantly changed the prognosis of oral cancer in the past three decades. Perhaps efforts to decrease oral cancer mortality should be aimed at disease prevention and improving early detection.| | | Next → | Single Page