Oral Cancer Prevention

IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention Volume 19







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A Working Group of 25 independent international experts, convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) between September and December 2021, reviewed the scientific evidence on primary and secondary prevention of oral cancer. Cancer of the lip and oral cavity ranks 16th in cancer incidence and mortality worldwide and is a common cause of cancer death in men across much of South and South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. The main causes of oral cancer worldwide are tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. Smokeless tobacco use and areca nut use are the leading causes in those countries where their use is prevalent.

This is the first evaluation of oral cancer prevention by the IARC Handbooks programme. The Working Group reviewed the body of evidence and provided evidence-based evaluations of the impact of cessation of exposure to risk factors, of cessation interventions for products containing smokeless tobacco or areca nut, and of screening for oral cancer by clinical oral examination. In addition, this publication presents background information related to oral cancer, such as the global burden of oral cancer, the prevalence of use of products containing smokeless tobacco or areca nut, and emerging technologies for oral cancer screening.

This volume of the IARC Handbooks brings together, for the first time, all the available evidence related to primary and secondary prevention of oral cancer.