Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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O'Sullivan E.
Oral oncology
P-005. Some insights into the potential for earlier detection of oral cancer: A population-based study
Scopus: 1 ()
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Aims: Using presenting symptomatology and overt risk factors, to consider the potential for earlier diagnosis of malignant oral cancer in Ireland. Method: All cases of malignant oral cancer identified within a well-defined geographical area by the Southern Tumour Registry, Southern Ireland, over an 8-year period from 1983 to 1990 were examined. Results: Three-hundred and eighty-eight cases of oral cancer were registered during the study period. Overall, almost half (48%) of the patients reported symptoms for less than 3 months with just 10% admitting to germane discomfort of greater than 12 months duration. Particularly low tolerance of symptoms was indicated for gum, floor of mouth, and tongue lesions with diagnosis within 3 months of onset for 73, 67, and 62% of cases, respectively. However, there was a very high rate of overt risk factors such as high alcohol and tobacco intake among the series - 74% of males and 21% of females regularly used both substances. Conclusion: Our findings indicate a definite but perhaps relatively modest potential for earlier diagnosis of oral cancer on the basis of a more sensitised response to specific symptoms. However, screening programmes based on high risk individual profiles perhaps offer a significantly more promising modality in relation to early diagnosis.
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