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Diagnostic Delays in Oral Cancer: Causes, Measurement, Impact and Solutions

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2021 IADR/AADR/CADR General Session

The 99th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR was to be held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, from July 21-24, 2021 as a Virtual Experience.

The recordings in this library from the meeting are a selection of the science that was to be presented as part of the General Session. These recordings give you the opportunity to participate in the meeting and hear from leading researchers. The recordings include IADR Distinguished Lecture Series speakers, the IADR Academy and symposia from a collection of scientific groups and networks.

This session can be purchased as part of the full meeting recordings within the product bundles

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Session Description 
Global statistics confirm poor survival rates in patients diagnosed with oral cancer; on average only around 50% surviving five years following treatment. This is largely attributed to patients presenting with advanced cancers in Stages 3 and 4 and stage at presentation is an important prognostic factor. Delays in recognizing oral cancer may happen throughout the patient’s cancer journey. The symposium will address the causes of delay, its impact on treatment outcomes and will present proposals to reduce diagnostic delays at all levels, during a patient’s cancer journey. Early diagnosis is a key factor in improving the outcomes of cancer patients. Social inequalities contribute to significant delays particularly due to health illiteracy and poor access to health systems. Mobile technology and e-health could help in consultations between primary care physicians/ dentists with specialists to rapidly transfer suspected cases of oral cancer. Diagnostic tools available for the detection of oral cancer and potentially malignant disorders have not been sufficiently researched in primary care. We will appraise their operating characteristics in secondary care. To further understand delays in cancer diagnosis and when assessing delays we need greater precision and transparency in both definitions and methods. These will be discussed in terms of the adaptation and application of the Aarhus checklist - a resource for early cancer-diagnosis research. A large number of oral cancer patients could be saved from premature death if they had timely access to health care systems, suspicious lesions are urgently referred to specialists and are promptly treated.

Learning Objectives
  • Understand the patient’s cancer journey.
  • Approaches to reduce professional delays.
  • To learn skills for systematic oral (visual) examinations, early signs of oral cancer, urgent referral pathways, and the application of diagnostic tools.
  • To improvise public health approaches for community engagement and conducting social marketing campaigns to improve health literacy on oral cancer. 
  • Improving research in primary care in order to find solutions to reduce delays in cancer diagnosis
Presentation Date
July 21, 2021

Kamran Awan
Pablo Varela-Centelles
Saman Warnakulasuriya
Ross Kerr

Sponsoring Groups/Networks
Clinical and Translational Science Network, Diagnostic Sciences, e-Oral Health Network, Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network, Oral Medicine & Pathology Research

CE Credits
1.5 Contact Hours

Financial Interest Disclosure:

Supported by:
Henry Schein Cares Foundation

Not eligible for individual purchase must purchase as part of a meeting bundle.