Background: Oral cancer in Chile corresponds approximately to 1.6% of all cancer cases. There are few studies about oral epithelial dysplasia and oral squamous cell carcinoma in the Chilean population. Aim: To determine the frequency of hyperkeratosis, mild, moderate and severe oral epithelial dysplasia, in situ carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the oral and oropharyngeal mucosa in a registry of the Oral Pathology Reference Institute of the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Chile, in a ten years period. Material and methods: Review of clinical records and pathological plates of 389 patients, obtained between 1990 and 2009. Cases were selected according to their pathological diagnosis, including hyperkeratosis, oral epithelial dysplasia, in situ carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and verrucous carcinoma. Results: Forty four percent of cases were squamous cell carcinoma, followed by hyperkeratosis in 37% and mild epithelial dysplasia in 11%. Squamous cell carcinoma was more common in men aged over 50 years. Most of the potentially malignant disorders presented clinically as leukoplakia and squamous cell carcinoma were clinically recognized as cancer. Conclusions: In this study, men aged over 50 years are the highest risk group for oral cancer. Early diagnosis is deficient since most of these lesions were diagnosed when squamous cell carcinoma became invasive. Leukoplakia diagnosis is mostly associated with hyperkeratosis and epithelial dysplasia, therefore biopsy of these lesions is mandatory to improve early diagnosis.
Epidemiology; Leukoplakia; Mouth neoplasms; Neoplasms, squamos cell