Your browser doesn't support JavaScript. Please upgrade to a modern browser or enable JavaScript in your existing browser.
Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Screening for Oral Cancer

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Release Date: February 2004

Summary of Recommendations / Supporting Documents

Summary of Recommendation

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against routinely screening adults for oral cancer.

    Rating: "I" statement.

    Rationale: The USPSTF found no new good-quality evidence that screening for oral cancer leads to improved health outcomes for either high-risk adults (i.e., those over the age of 50 who use tobacco) or for average-risk adults in the general population. It is unlikely that controlled trials of screening for oral cancer will ever be conducted in the general population because of the very low incidence of oral cancer in the United States. There is also no new evidence for the harms of screening. As a result, the USPSTF could not determine the balance between benefits and harms of screening for oral cancer.

Top of Page

Supporting Documents

Screening for Oral Cancer, February 2004
Recommendation Statement (PDF File, 62 KB; PDF Help)
Brief Evidence Update (PDF File, 156 KB; PDF Help)

Top of Page

Cancer Control Planet icon

Current as of February 2004

Internet Citation:

Screening for Oral Cancer, Topic Page. February 2004. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care