To identify pain as the initial symptom of oral cancer patients.
Hospital charts of 1412 patients (1977 to 1998) with oral cancer were reviewed (238 female and 1174 male).
Pain was the initial complaint in 19.2% of the sample. Oral cancer (ratio 4:1) and initial pain (ratio 9:1; P= .001) was prevalent in men. There were 12 different complaints of pain: sore throat (37.6%), tongue pain (14.0%), mouth pain (12.9%); pain when swallowing (11.1%), dental pain (5.9%); earache (5.9%); pain in the palate (4.1%); burning mouth (3.3%); gingival pain (2.2%); pain when chewing (1.1%); neck pain (1.1%), and facial pain (0.7%). Pain was associated with advanced TNM staging and location of tumor in the tongue (P= .004) and the tongue/mouth floor (P< .006).
There were 12 different descriptions of pain; pain was related to TNM staging in the tongue and the tongue/mouth floor. The data presented reinforce the suggestion that patients with orofacial pain need systematized evaluation and sometimes require an interdisciplinary approach.
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Published online: April 24, 2006
Accepted: October 12, 2005
Received in revised form: October 3, 2005
Received: February 13, 2005
© 2006 Mosby, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.