Oral carcinogenesis proceeds through a stepwise accumulation of genetic damage over time. Because the oral cavity is easy to examine and risk
factors for oral cancer are known, there is great opportunity to improve patient outcomes through diagnosis and treatment of premalignant lesions
before the development of invasive oral carcinoma. This review provides a summary of developments in detection and diagnosis of oral premalignant
lesions and innovative approaches to management of early oral neoplasia. These technological and therapeutic advances are much needed to improve
the poor outcomes associated with oral cancer due to our inability to diagnose and treat this disease at an early, curable stage
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is one of the ten most common cancers worldwide. Despite therapeutic advances, survival rates for patients with oral SCC remain at approximately 50% and have not improved over several decades. Persistent failure to diagnose and treat oral cancer at an early stage is a key factor limiting advances in outcome. Improving detection, diagnosis, and treatment of precancerous changes and early asymptomatic cancers is imperative to increase survival and improve functional outcomes for persons at risk to develop oral cancer.