Treatment Delay in Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer in Our Population: The Role of Socio-Economic Factors and Health-Seeking Behaviour

  • A. K. Agarwal
  • Ashwani SethiEmail author
  • Deepika Sareen
  • Shruti Dhingra
Original Article


The objective is to assess the role of socio-economic factors and health-seeking behavior in treatment delay in oral and oropharyngeal cancer in our population. This article adapts—design: prospective study and setting: tertiary care centre. We studied 153 patients with oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma who were managed in the department of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery between January 2006 and December 2007. There were 127 male patients (83%) and 26 females (17%) with ages ranging from 22 years to 70 years. Fifty-nine patients (39%) presented to us with early stage disease (i.e. stage I and II), whereas, 94 patients (61%) presented with late stage disease (i.e. stage III and IV). Of the 59 patients presenting with early stage disease, 20 were illiterate and 39 literate with 28 patients (47%) belonging to low socio-economic status and 32 patients (54%) having an access to primary health centre (PHC). Of the 94 patients presenting with late stage disease, 53 were illiterate and 41 literate with 58 patients (62%) belonging to low socio-economic status and 38 patients (40%) having an access to primary health centre. Literacy, socio-economic status, access to primary health centre and health-seeking behavior of our population has a significant association with the stage of presentation of patients with oral and oropharyngeal cancer.


Squamous cell carcinoma Oral cavity Oropharynx Head and neck Socio-economic factors 


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Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. K. Agarwal
    • 1
  • Ashwani Sethi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Deepika Sareen
    • 1
  • Shruti Dhingra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ENTMaulana Azad Medical College and Associated L. N. HospitalNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.New DelhiIndia

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