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Field change and oral cancer: New evidence for widespread carcinogenesis?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Thomson


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Patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) are at risk of developing second or multiple primary cancers as a result of field cancerization in the upper aerodigestive tract. In order to quantify the incidence of field change observable in oral mucosa, 26 consecutive new (untreated) patients presenting with a unilateral OSCC (18) or a premalignant lesion (eight) underwent 'mirror image' biopsies from clinically normal-looking mucosa at corresponding anatomical sites. A total of 15 patients (58%) demonstrated histologically abnormal tissue upon microscopic examination: six showed reactive change/cellular atypia associated with chronic irritation, seven exhibited frank dysplasia, whilst two displayed carcinoma-in-situ (CIS) or microinvasive SCC. Although not statistically significant, there was an observable trend for the lateral/ventral tongue and floor of mouth to display increased vulnerability to dysplastic change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thomson PJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Year: 2002

Volume: 31

Issue: 3

Pages: 262-266

Print publication date: 01/01/2002

ISSN (print): 0901-5027

ISSN (electronic): 1399-0020

Publisher: Churchill Livingstone


DOI: 10.1054/ijom.2002.0220

PubMed id: 12190131


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