Frequency of Delayed Diagnosis of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Pakistan

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Assistant professor department of Oral and maxillofacial surgery. University college of Dentistry. university of Lahore. Lahore. Pakistan

2 Assistant professor Oral and maxillofacial Pathology. Islamabad medical and dental college. Islamabad. Pakistan

3 Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. HBS Medical and Dental college. Islamabad. Pakistan


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 ± 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.