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Molecular Genetics

Oral squamous cell carcinoma represents sixth most common cancer worldwide and is one of the most common malignant neoplasms in India. Incidence of squamous cell carcinoma in India is 3- 4 lakh cases per annum. The incidence of oral cancer is very high and is associated with high mortality and morbidity both in West and Asian countries. Tobacco, tobacco related products, excessive consumption of alcohol, chronic irritation, poor oral hygiene and microorganisms are common risk factors for the oral cancer. These risk factors cause genetic alterations which lead to unregulated division of cells, mutations and cancer. Thus cancer is a genetic disease. Cell division and cell death are controlled by several genes and if there are alterations in these genes there is excessive proliferation of cells. Cancer development is a multistep process. As the altered cells divide and re-divide, more and more genes get altered. Detection of such genetic alterations is essential for early detection of cancer susceptibility. Genetic testing is a continuously evolving field. Cancer causing genes are categorised into three main classes’ i e. oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and DNA repair genes. Sangeeta Palaskar, Molecular Genetics of Oral cancer
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Last date updated on June, 2014

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