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Spec Care Dentist. 2007 May-Jun;27(3):87-94.

Self-awareness of premalignant oral lesions among veterans attending six U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

Author information

1
Department of Dental Ecology (School of Dentistry) and Microbiology and Immunology (School of Medicine), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA. diane_shugars@dentistry.unc.edu

Abstract

Early identification is key to reducing the morbidity and mortality of oropharyngeal cancer. This study identified factors associated with self-awareness among patients newly diagnosed with a premalignant oral lesion. Data describing sociodemographics, medical/dental histories, tobacco/alcohol use and oral health were obtained by questionnaire and clinical examination of 73 veterans at six U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Lesion types included homogenous and non-homogenous leukoplakia, smokeless tobacco lesion (STL), papilloma, lichen planus and erythroplakia. Prior to diagnosis, 29 subjects (39.7%) were unaware of their lesion. In bivariate analyses, lesion self-awareness was associated with anatomic location, multifocal/generalized appearance, pain, oral sores, and cigar use (p<0.05). Awareness varied with lesion diagnosis and was more likely with STL and less likely with homogenous leukoplakia (p<0.05). In multivariate analyses, awareness was predicted by the presence of a lesion on easily visible mucosa (adjusted odds ratio, OR=11.2) and a history of mouth sores (OR= 11.2). These findings identified marked variations in patient self-awareness of oral premalignant conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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