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Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1992 Aug;30(4):210-3.

Oral cancer diagnosis and delays in referral.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Cheltenham General Hospital, Gloucestershire.


Delays at various levels in the management pathway of oral cancer have previously been reviewed. It is a clinical impression that advanced tumours are being misdiagnosed by practitioners and consequently delays in referral are still prevalent. A study was conducted to compare the diagnosis and referral patterns of medical and dental practitioners. The results indicated that despite seeing similar populations of patients with oral cancer, the medical practitioner was better at diagnosing and referring cases early, and noting the relevance of lymphadenopathy. A high index of suspicion is a prerequisite for early diagnosis and referral of patients with oral cancer. The findings of this study highlight the importance of correct diagnosis, and support recent recommendations regarding practitioner education.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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