Main focus is on avoidance of known etiological factors and alterations in lifestyle to prevent cancer development in the first place. This is particularly significant as oral cancer is one of the few cancers with a high potential for prevention. The main etiological factors implicated in oral cancer as discussed in detail earlier are:
diet and nutritional status;
chronic candidal infection;
It refers to identification of high-risk lesions. Not much is known about the course of oral cancer, its growth speed and ideal therapeutic time point. Some clinically detectable lesions may regress over time others may convert to potentially malignant lesions and conditions over the years but may still remain undetected, ignored or mistreated. It becomes mandatory for practitioners to be aware of and be confident in diagnosing potentially malignant oral lesions early. Along with thorough examination of the mucosal surfaces extra-oral examination should also be performed to check for nodal involvement.
Defined as the prevention of recurrence or development of a second malignant
tumour in patients who have already been diagnosed with oral cancer. These patients are at increased risk of developing multiple primary tumours. The chances of recurrence is in first two years. Patients are at risk of developing other aerodigestive tract tumours. Such patients need to be reviewed regularly for life. Every visit demands for both thorough intra and extra oral examination. The recurrence rate can be reduced via systemic administration of retinoids and other antioxidants, such as carotenoids, alpha tocopherol and glutathione. have shown promise as chemopreventive agents.