Surveillance and research are the basic necessities for planning and promoting cancer control programs, therefore epidemiological data are crucial. National incidence data for global statistics are derived from population based cancer registries. Due to increasing tobacco prevalence, tobacco related oral lesions have increased. Although India has well developed cancer registries, overall oral cancer registration is questionable and there is a dearth of data on potentially malignant oral disorders and oral cancer in specific geographic locations. Oral cancer diagnostic services and cancer registries are concentrated in urban areas. It is extraordinarily difficult for cancer registries to cover a huge and growing population with diverse culture and habits. Additional challenges include an increase in aging populations and practical deficiencies in oral cancer registration in national cancer registries. There is, however, the possibility for acquiring data from outpatient records of dental colleges that are widely distributed throughout the subcontinent. These colleges are equipped with diagnostic services and trained practitioners and can assess and record potential malignant lesions, thereby providing valuable data that could be utilized for planning allocation of cancer resources.
- Oral cancer