In 2015 NICE updated its guidelines relating to patients presenting to GPs with suspicious lesions or lumps in the mouth. It involved referral to a dentist within 2 weeks for assessment for a possible oral cancer.
Why are the patients not being directed to a hospital at once? Delay in diagnosis always worsens the likely outcome. Given the strong link between social deprivation and these cancers how many of the patients will have a dentist to see?
The Daily Express (Nov 22) and others reported on concerns about these guidelines, expressed in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgery.