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National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 52-54

Comparison of the diagnostic yield of medical and dental referrals an oral and maxillofacial 2 weeks rule clinic

Department of General Surgery, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Truro, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Liam Piggott
Department of General Surgery, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Truro
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-5950.168222

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Background: The 2 weeks wait clinic initiative is used as a fast track referral process, to assess patients with suspected cancer. The United Kingdom's National Institute of Clinical Excellence has issued guidelines for which patients should be referred to this service for suspected oral, head and neck cancers. Both general medical practitioners (GMPs) and general dental practitioners (GDPs) can refer to this service. Objective: To ascertain how many of the 2 weeks rule referrals resulted in positive oncology cases. Also, to compare the diagnostic yield of cancer diagnoses between referrals from GMPs and GDPs. Methods: Collection and analysis of 2 weeks rule referrals and the clinical outcome for these patients, to an oral and maxillofacial surgery unit for a 6 months period. Results: Overall, 65% of the patients seen in the clinic were referred by a GMP and 12.5% of these had a diagnosis of cancer. The remaining 35% were referred by a GDP and 10% of these had cancer. There was no statistically significant different diagnostic yield between the two groups. Conclusion: A significant number of patients with confirmed cancer are referred from medically qualified practitioners. Further awareness and education of oral, head and neck cancers is warranted in this group, including at an undergraduate level.

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