Oral cancer is the sixth common malignancy worldwide. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) accounts for 90% of the oral cancers and is the 11th common cancer. Various studies showed that HPV, EBV and some other viruses might be the cause for a group of head and neck cancers including oral cavity cancer (OCC). The aim of this study was to assess the important viral infection, in the induction of oral cavity cancers.
Data was collected using key words including oral cavity, cancer, malignancy, OCC, OSCC, virus, infection, HPV, EBV, HCV in international databases including PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane and Embase until 2020.
A total of 30 original articles were reviewed after eliminating unrelated and redundant articles. The results of all reviewed articles except four indicated that the role of viral infections in OCC. Yen and Prathyusha reported that the prevalence of EBV among OCC cases ranged from 20 to 80%. The rate of HPV infection in patient with OCC ranged from 1.9% in the study by Smith et al. to 51.5 in the study by Tachezy et al.
Review of epidemiological studies revealed that HPV and EBV infection were significantly related to OCC, whereas the relationship between OCC and HCV was less prominent. Therefore, the high prevalence of these viral infections can be considered as a possible reason for the incidence of OCC. further studies are required to identify the exact mechanism for the carcinogenesis of these viruses.