Long-term outcomes associated with oral cancer and its management over the past several decades has caused concern and the value of mass oral cancer screenings has come under scrutiny. Though not all oral carcinomas are preceded by premalignant lesions as clinically visible morphological alterations occur secondary to the cellular or molecular changes, certain high risk lesions have been identified. Their management remains controversially polarized between surgical excision to prevent malignant change and conservative medical or surveillance techniques. Though oral cancer is one of the "major killers" of modern times, there seem to be no widely accepted criteria for decision making in clinical practice, the evidence base is scanty and uncertainty persists throughout investigation, diagnosis, and treatment. In this article, we have briefly discussed the common premalignant lesions, with an emphasis on their evidence based management and prevention.
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