Characterization of late diagnosis of oral cancer in a Brazilian city

Introduction: oral cancer in Brazil still presents high incidence and mortality rates and has different characteristics throughout the national territory. Although in most cases the diagnosis is late, there is a great possibility for cure when patients are treated early.
Objective: to describe the sociodemographic profile of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma and the possible etiological factors associated.
Methods: this was a descriptive prospective cross-sectional study carried out in Napoleão Laureano Hospital, state of Paraíba, from January 2012 to May 2013. The study included patients with advanced-stage oral squamous cell carcinoma identified during clinical examination and confirmed by histopathology. The following variables were assessed: age, sex, comorbidity, smoking, alcohol use, tumor location, time of development, clinical staging, histopathological grading and proposed treatment.
Results: a total of 15 cases of patients with stage III and IV oral squamous cell carcinoma were found. Of these, 80 % were males with a mean age of 62.59 years and lesions affecting predominantly the mouth floor, followed by the tongue. The most common sign was the presence of tumor greater than 3.0-cm diameter, including ulcerated, leukoplastic and erythroplastic areas, in addition to pain and difficulty in feeding and phonation.
Conclusion: the majority of patients identified, with advanced-stage squamous cell carcinoma showed moderate cellular differentiation between stages III and IV, and was composed by males with smoking and alcohol drinking habits in the seventh decade of life.

Manuela Gouvêa Manuela
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