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Otorinolaringologia 2009 March;59(1):31-42

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Oral cavity cancer - An overview of imaging modalities and findings

Matheus M. G., Rumboldt Z.

Medical University of South Carolina Department of Radiology, Charleston, SC, USA


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In spite of advancements in surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and imaging technology, the overall survival rates of oral cavity cancers have not significantly changed over the last decades. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common histologic type, corresponding to 90% of the oral cavity malignancies and nodal status remains a major prognostic factor. Early detection and adequate staging of oral cavity malignancies are crucial for appropriate treatment planning. Imaging modalities have a critical role in assessment of extension, involvement of adjacent structures, perineural tumor spread, nodal disease, distant metastasis, and even synchronous tumors. This article aims to review and describe imaging techniques and findings in oral cavity cancer including advantages and limitations of each modality plain radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear medicine studies including positron emission tomography.

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