31 Issue 7 | 2018 | S upporting Y our P ractice Dr. Riitta Seppänen-Kaijansinkko, principal investigator of the research team and professor in the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of Helsinki, says the results surprised the research team. “We found out that the OSCC patients had more OLP and OLL in their history than we expected, given their low prevalence in the population. The results are also significant because the patients we studied did not have the typical predisposing factors for OSCC, such as smoking, drinking alcohol or bad oral hygiene; this suggests a link between OLP and OSCC.” The study results highlight the importance of checking a patient’s oral mucosa at least annually, when they come for a checkup, says Dr. Seppänen-Kaijansinkko. “If the patient has a lesion, you should always take a biopsy, or refer the patient to an oral surgeon who can do this. Without a biopsy, you can’t diagnose OLP or OLL—you need both the clinical and histological signs. And then of course, follow up appropriately, based on the findings. a Reference 1. Ruokonen HMA, Juurikivi A, Kauppila T, Heikkinen AM, Seppänen-Kaijansinkko R. High percentage of oral lichen planus and lichenoid lesion in oral squamous cell carcinomas. Acta Odontol Scand . 2017 Aug;75(6):442-45. Theviewsexpressedarethoseoftheauthor anddonotnecessarilyreflecttheopinions orofficialpoliciesoftheCanadianDental Association. Patients with oral lichen planus (OLP) and lichenoid lesions (OLL), mucosal conditions with a risk of malignant transformation to oral squamous cell cancer (OSCC), may be at greater risk for OSCC than previously thought, according to a new study. OLP affects about 0.5–4% of the population, making it the most common premalignant oral mucosal condition. But researchers who studied OSCC patients treated at a hospital in Helsinki, Finland, during one year found that, out of 323 OSCC patients, 18% had OLP in their history and 4% had OLL—an unexpected finding, given their prevalence in the general population. Are Lichen Planus and Lichenoid Lesions Precursors toOral Squamous Cell Cancer? Dr. Seppänen- Kaijansinkko discusses her research findings on Oasis Discussions oasisdiscussions.ca/ 2018/07/20/23196 riitta.seppanen- kaijansinkko@ helsinki.fi Dr. Riitta Seppänen- Kaijansinkko If the patient has a lesion, you should always take a biopsy, or refer the patient to an oral surgeon who can do this.