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Medicina Oral, Patología Oral y Cirugía Bucal (Internet)

On-line version ISSN 1698-6946


ABDO, Evandro Neves et al. Time elapsed between the first symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer patients in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Med. oral patol. oral cir.bucal (Internet) [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.7, pp.469-473. ISSN 1698-6946.

Objective: One of the most important objectives of a public health service is early diagnosis of disease, which provides a better prognosis and reduction in treatment cost. We investigated the delay for diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer in a public hospital. Material and methods: One hundred eighty records of patients who attended for their first consultation in the department of head and neck surgery in a public hospital from Belo Horizonte-Brazil, between the period from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001 were analysed. The following variables were analyzed: gender, age, evolution time (ET), time elapsed from referral to hospital and first appointment (RT), time elapsed from first appointment and treatment (TT), total time elapsed from first noticing the lesion and starting treatment (TTE), sites and staging. Results: Results for males and females were, respectively: mean age = 57.9 and 60.8 years; ET= 169.4 and 215.4 days; RT = 27.9 and 40.6 days; TT = 40.9 and 44.9days; TTE = 207.9 and 263.8 days. No correlation was observed between age and TTE for either gender. Women presented the highest mean values for ET and TTE (p<0.01). Conclusion: It was concluded that public health policy should be developed to address the excessively long time lapsed between diagnosis and treatment as well as improve public health education programs to promote early oral cancer identification.

Keywords : Oral cancer; delay; diagnosis.

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