Changes to guidance about the two-week wait referrals for suspected cancer of the head and neck have created a new recommendation for a general medical practitioner to refer any patients to a dentist under certain criteria. The potential effect of this was assessed based on 91 referrals to an oral and maxillofacial unit. A total of 33 met the criteria for initial referral to a dentist; of these, one was later diagnosed with cancer. We outline the potential deleterious effects the new guidance might have on the rapid diagnosis of oral lesions.
Keywords: NICE guidance; Two week wait; head and neck cancer.
Copyright © 2016 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.