Mapping oral cancer research in South Africa
CITATION: Botha, P. J., Schoonees, A. & Pontes, C. C. 2018. Mapping oral cancer research in South Africa. South African Dental Journal, 73(6):384-394, doi:10.17159/2519-0105/2018/v73no6a1.
The original publication is available at http://www.scielo.org.za
The aim of the present study was to review the scope of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) research in South Africa, including its epidemiology, diagnosis, associated risk factors and management. All publications relating to OSCC on the South African population were sought. A total of 72 studies were included and classified into seven categories; most studies were case reports or case series. Risk factors and epidemiology were the most investigated categories while early detection and diagnosis was the least explored. All the main ethnic groups in South Africa were investigated. The highest incidence of OSCC in South Africa was reported for males of mixed ancestry; there was a male predominance in all ethnic groups except for Asians. There is a high prevalence of OSCC in younger individuals in comparison with the global average. Future research about early detection and diagnosis, risk factors, premalignant lesions, management and disease progression is suggested. Educational programmes are necessary and should include schools and tertiary education institutions to reach adolescents and young adults.