Oral cancer is a global health problem with increasing incidence and mortality rates; around 500,000 patients are annually estimated to have oral cancer worldwide (Parkin et al., 2005). Prevention is better than cure. There is great scope for the prevention of cancer through early detection (Sankila et al., 2001).
Early detection of oral cancer could improve therapeutic results and reduce morbidity and mortality. Exfoliative cytology is a simple non-aggressive technique that is well accepted by the patient, and that is therefore an attractive option for the early diagnosis of oral cancer, including epithelial dysplasias and especially squamous cell carcinoma.