Introduction: Oral cancer is an ideal candidate for screening. Many oral cancers are preceded by pre malignant lesions which are amenable to detection through simple oral cavity examination (OCE). At present oral cancers frequently present at a late stage with poor prognosis. The risk factors for oral and upper digestive tract malignancy are similar and synchronous carcinoma is sometimes seen. At present oral examinations are not current practice for patients undergoing an UATI with endoscopy, whereas rectal exams for colonoscopy are.
Aim/method: The aim of this study was to examine the oral cavity of patients undergoing UATI with endoscopy. The OC was examined to identify any pre-malignancy/frank carcinoma and findings documented on a specific proforma. Information collected included risk factors, patient demographics and findings of the OCE/UATI. A pilot study of 35 patients identified ease of implementation and value in identifying suspicions lesions.
Results: We will present the results from 200 OCE’s for urgent and routine UATI and suggest modifications to the current national UATI protocols in light of our findings. Many patients presenting for urgent UATI have high risk factors for OC malignancy.
Conclusion: The risk factors for malignancy of the UAT and OC are similar and assessment of the OC should form a rigid part of the UATI protocol. The knowledge and skill for performing an OCE is often poor amongst medically qualified personal and appropriate education/training is required. This will help to ensure that easily identifiable oral cancers/pre malignant lesions are not missed.