Initial outcomes of an integrated outpatient-based screening program for oral cancers

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Abstract

Objective.

To evaluate the feasibility of an integrated outpatient-based screening program for oral cancer.

Study Design.

An automated system was used to refer high-risk patients presenting to the outpatient clinic for oral cavity examination. The outcomes between the screened and concurrently symptomatic cohorts were compared to assess the program's effectiveness at identifying oral cancers.

Results.

Among the 38,693 candidates flagged as high-risk patients by our automated referral system, a total of 8037 participants were recruited to our screened cohort; 1664 patients were identified with positive lesions, and 302 patients underwent a biopsy. Five patients were diagnosed with oral cancer and 121 with dysplastic precancers. The symptomatic cohort comprised 157 patients with oral cancers and 61 with precancers. The screening program identified earlier stages of oral cancers than in the symptomatic cohort.

Conclusion.

Automated outpatient-based oral cancer screening programs may be a practicable strategy to identify precancerous lesions or early-stage cancers in high-risk adults.

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