Oral exfoliative cytology: Basic to clinical application
Oral and oropharyngeal cancer, grouped together, are the sixth most common cancer in the world. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) accounts for more than 95% of all oral cancers. OSCCs diagnosed at a late stage often results in a diminished quality of life and impaired function. OSCC could be preceded by oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs), for example, leukoplakia and erythroplakia. Thus, an early diagnosis of OSCC and OPMD is an effective strategy to reduce mortality and morbidity rates and improve the quality of life of the patients. At present, oral exfoliative cytology is an effectively adjuvant diagnostic techniques, which is a minimally invasive method to collect cells from the suspected oral mucosa, a relatively simple and inexpensive technique, and provide high accuracy results in the diagnostic steps. However, in Thailand, using the oral exfoliative cytology technique has been limited. This review article describes historical development, basic techniques, diagnostic guidelines, efficacy, and the future direction of oral exfoliative cytology. The aim of this article is to clarify basic knowledge and the clinical application of oral exfoliative cytology to Thai health care personnel.
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