Refinement of noninvasive methods for diagnosing precancer and cancer of oral mucosa in general dental practice
The search for and the application of available noninvasive methods for early diagnosis of oral mucosa (OM) neoplasia is a clinically significant problem. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the original score-based algorithm for assessing clinical data generated by a conventional and an autofluorescencebased examination in diagnosing OM cancer and assessing indications for a biopsy. We analyzed 134 medical histories and pathology reports of patients with oral neoplasia. The patients were assigned to 2 groups: the control group included 63 patients who underwent a standard visual and tactile examination with history taking and then were referred for an incisional biopsy followed by a histopathological examination of the specimens. In the main group consisting of 71 patients, a standard visual and tactile examination was complemented by an autofluorescence-based examination and the original score-based algorithm with the original index of required histopathological verification (RHV) were used to assess indications for a biopsy. In both groups, the most commonly affected site was the tongue (72.4%). The histopathological examination revealed that 28 patients from the main group and 14 patients from the control group had OM cancer (р = 0.051). Histologically, early-stage cancer was diagnosed in 17 patients from the main group and in 4 patients from the control group (р = 0.004). The proposed algorithm allowed us to effectively (in 90% of cases) diagnose precancer and cancer and avoid unnecessary biopsies.
Keywords: cancer, oral mucosa, precancer, required histological verification index (RHV)