Editorial Message from Ghana Dental Journal
ORAL SQUAMOUS CELL CANCER IN YOUNG PATIENTS: AN EMERGING GROWING CONDITION THAT REQUIRES SPECIAL ATTENTION BY CLINICIANS AND SCIENTISTS TO MANAGE HEAD AND NECK CANCER.
Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) is the seventh most common cancer globally, accounting for more than 660,000 new cases and 325,000 deaths annually. The incidence of HNCs has been predicted to increase by 30% annually by 2030. Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 1,2 (OSCC) encompasses 90% of all HNCs. OSCC is traditionally associated with tobacco and alcohol abuse and mainly occurs in the elderly population, in individuals above the age of 50 years.
More recently, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has been implicated as a significant cause of oropharyngeal 3 cancers. Recently, there has been an alarming increase in the reports of OSCC in patients aged 45 years and below who had no significant history of known traditional risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use. The tongue is the most common site affected; surprisingly, females seem more affected than males.
This new development in the demography of OSCC raises the issue of the importance of early diagnosis and management