P-098. Factors influencing patients and doctors delay in oral cancer diagnosis

A. L. Carvalho, J. Pintos, N. Schlech, B. V. Oliveira, A. S. Fava, M. P. Curado, L. P. Kowalski, E. L. Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: Patients and doctors delay in cancer diagnosis may influence clinical stage and, consequently, the patient's prognosis. The objective of this study was to analyze the influence of clinical and socio-demographic variables in patients and doctors delay. Methods: Four-hundred and seventeen patients were analyzed in this series. Patient delay was defined when the time difference between reporting a symptom and professional consultation exceeded 2 months, and doctor delay when the difference between this consultation and the diagnosis was ≥ 1 month. Results: Mean patient delay was 4.9 months (S.D.±8.6) and professional delay, 1.7 months (S.D.± 3.3). At multivariate analysis, independent factors associated with patient delay were presence of sialorrhea (OR 0.31; 95% CI 0.2-0.6); monthly income [> 126 US$] (OR 0.62; 95% CI 0.4-1.1); tobacco consumption [>2 packs/day] (OR 1.62; 95% CI 0.8-3.3); non-white patients (OR 2.00; 95% CI 1.1-3.8) and patients presenting problems with dentures (OR 0.40; 95% CI 0.2-0.7). Correlates of doctors delay were prior tonsillectomy (OR 0.12; 95% CI 0.04-0.4); patients using dentures without problems (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.4-1.0); poor dental status (OR 1.87; 95% CI 1.2-3.0); presence of dysphagia (OR 1.80; 95% CI 1.0-3.3); and patients who went to the dentist prior to the physician consultation (OR 4.31; 95% CI 2.1-8.8). Conclusions: Different factors were associated with patients and doctors delay. Educational programs regarding recognition of cancer signs and symptoms by both patient and health care professionals should be encouraged in order to diminish delays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S85
JournalOral Oncology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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