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Diagnostic Delay of Oral Cancer: A Literature Review

Issue: Vol.4, No.3 - July 2005

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Article Type: Manuscript

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  1. Dr Kojiro Onizawa
    DDS, Ph.D
    Department of Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgery, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba

Diagnosis delay is usually divided into patient delay, the time from symptom awareness to the first visit of an initial professional, and professional delay, the time from the first professional visit to the definitive diagnosis.  The mean patient and professional delays for oral cancer in recent English- language reports range from 109 to 703 months and from 0.7 to 5.6 months, respectively.  These durations have not shown a remarkable reduction for 3 decades.  The relationships between the delays and patients or tumor characteristics are controversial.  Educating patients to perform self-examination and initial professionals to do screening examinations is recommended to shorten the delays and allow for an earlier detection of oral cancer. 

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