1Assistant professor department of Oral and maxillofacial surgery. University college of Dentistry. university of Lahore. Lahore. Pakistan
2Assistant professor Oral and maxillofacial Pathology. Islamabad medical and dental college. Islamabad. Pakistan
3Professor 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.