Frequency of Delayed Diagnosis of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Pakistan

  • Naseer, Rabia (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University College of Dentistry, University of Lahore) ;
  • Naz, Iram (Department of Oral Pathology, Islamabad Medical and Dental College) ;
  • Mahmood, Muhammad Khurram (HBS Medical and Dental College)
  • Published : 2016.11.01


Objectives: To determine the frequency of delayed diagnosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma in our setup; highlighting factors responsible for any delay and their possible relevance to demographic and diagnostic features. Methods: This cross sectional study of six months duration was conducted in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department of the Armed Forces Institute of Dentistry, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A total of 246 patients, both male and female, having a biopsy proven definitive diagnosis of OSCC were included using a consecutive sampling technique. Delay in diagnosis was assessed from the stated period of time from when the patient first noticed symptoms of disease until a definitive diagnosis was made. We concluded delayed diagnosis if this was more than 40 days. Results: The ages of patients ranged from 27 to 60 years with a mean of $46.7{\pm}10.2$ years and a marked male predominance (3.7:1). Delayed diagnosis was observed in 91.5% of cases. However, statistically no significant differences were found with age, gender, marital, education status, household income and time of biopsy. Conclusion: Our primary finding of delayed diagnosis with no prior contact with any health care professional clearly reflects a need of taking urgent measures to avoid serious impacts on morbidity and mortality associated with OSCC.


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