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Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version
Last Modified: 11/20/2014

Changes to This Summary (11/20/2014)

The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.

General Information About Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer

Added text to state that precancerous lesions of the oropharynx include leukoplakia, erythroplakia, and mixed erythroleukoplakia (cited Neville et al. as reference 1); added the definition of leukoplakia provided by the World Health Organization (cited Kramer et al. as reference 2). Also added that the diagnosis of leukoplakia is one of exclusion; therefore, conditions such as candidiasis, lichen planus, leukoedema, and others must be ruled out before a diagnosis of leukoplakia can be made.

Added text to state that the prevalence of leukoplakia in the United States is decreasing, a decline related to the reduction in tobacco consumption (cited Scheifele et al. as reference 3); also added that although erythroplakia is not as common as leukoplakia, an association with dysplasia or carcinoma is greater (cited Shafer et al. as reference 4).

Cellular Classification of Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer

An editorial change was made to this section.

Revised text to state that because leukoplakia, erythroplakia, and mixed erythroleukoplaia are exclusively clinical terms that have no specific histopathologic connotations,(cited Rosai as reference 3) the term leukoplakia should be used solely as a clinically descriptive term to mean that the observer sees a white patch that does not rub off, the significance of which depends on the histologic findings.

This summary is written and maintained by the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of NCI. The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or NIH. More information about summary policies and the role of the PDQ Editorial Boards in maintaining the PDQ summaries can be found on the About This PDQ Summary and PDQ NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Database pages.