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Reexamination of delays in diagnosis of oral cancer following an intervention program in Cordoba, Argentina

Published:November 21, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oooo.2021.11.006

      Abstract

      Background

      We compare results of delay in oral cancer diagnosis before and after a campaign directed to dentists and raising awareness of the population to achieve early diagnosis of oral cancer in Córdoba, Argentina. The campaign included training diagnostic skills of dentists and a public awareness program through media and networks.

      Methods

      Clinical records (period 1: before intervention program, n=70; period 2: after intervention program, n=60) of patients presenting with oral squamous cell carcinoma, treated in two referral centers, were analyzed. Records included first symptoms, first consultation with a health professional, and the time when treatment was formulated.

      Results

      Oral cancer diagnosis at early stages increased from 27 % (period 1) to 40% (period 2). In period 1, biopsy at first consultation was indicated in 6% of patients and in 23.3% in period 2. OR: 4.68 CI (1.87-11.73) p< 0.05. Professional delay at early stage decreased from 72% in period 1 to 36.8% in period 2. During period 1, for initial stage cancer, the average patient and professional delay was 2,7 and 2,9 months, respectively (p=0.06) and in period 2 patient delay was 2.67 months and professional delay was 1.34 months (p=0.005).

      Conclusion

      The intervention program helped to improve early-stage diagnosis from 27% to 40% by reducing professional delays.

      Key words

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