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Article: Volume 47 Number 2 Page 121 - February 2020

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  Dental Update 475: 121-126

Oral Medicine/Maxillofacial Surgery:  Fear Factor: Anxiety - a Cause of Delayed Presentation of Oral Cancer

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Abstract: If oral cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, 5-year survival prognosis can be particularly poor. The existing literature indicates that patient anxiety is a contributing factor to patient delay in oral cancer diagnosis.

Clinical relevance: This article explores the causes of delay in oral cancer diagnosis and encourages practitioners to play an active role in the early diagnosis of oral cancer. Practitioners should appreciate the need to take a holistic approach to patient management and understand that treatment of patients must be tailored to account for their general or specific anxiety issues.

Author notes: Sukbir Nandra, BDS, MFDS RCSEd, PGCertMedEd, Orthodontic Registrar, Medway Maritime Hospital, Kent, ME7 5NY and Oluwatoyin Aiyegbusi, BDS, MFDS RCSGlas, Associate Dentist, Crook Log Dental Practice, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA6 8BS, UK.

Objective: To explore the role that dental anxiety has on delaying presentation of oral cancer and encourage dental practitioners to play an active role in its early diagnosis.