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Article: Volume 45 Number 2 Page 150 - February 2018

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  Dent Update 2018; 45: 150-154

Oral medicine:  The Risks of Delayed Oral Cancer Detection in Primary Care

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Abstract: Oral malignancy necessitates early detection for a better prognosis. Clinical presentation may vary, from a small mucosal lesion with benign clinical features to a large ulcerated mass with considerable local destruction. The case of a 46-year-old patient presenting to a dental access centre with upper quadrant jaw pain, parasthaesia and unexplained tooth mobility is discussed. Delay in recognizing key features suggestive of sinister pathology led to a seven-week delay in referral of an aggressive, rare, odontogenic malignancy; ameloblastic carcinoma. The patient underwent extensive surgery with adjunctive radiotherapy.

Clinical relevance: Odontogenic malignancy can cause rapid and extensive local invasion with a high potential for local or regional spread. Maxillary tumours often present with late, non-specific symptoms, thus must be detected early.

Author notes: Paayal Shah, BDS, MFDS RCS(Edin), PGDip ClinEd, Specialty Registrar in Oral Surgery, Luton and Dunstable NHS Foundation Trust Hospital, Rishi Pandya, BChD, MFDS RCS(Edin), MbChB, Foundation Doctor, Oxford University Hospitals, Tahir Mirza, FRCS (OMFS), MBBS, BDS, DOHNS, Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and Chi-Hwa Chan, FRCS (OMFS), FRCS Eng, FDS RCS, MBChB, BDS, Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Luton and Dunstable NHS Foundation Hospital, Lewsey Road, Luton LU4 0DZ, UK.

Objective: To understand the importance of early recognition of suspicious signs and symptoms which may be indicative of malignancy in screening for oral cancer. Enhanced CPD DO C