Barriers to early diagnosis and management of oral cancer in Latin America and the Caribbean

Josefina Martínez-Ramírez, Cristina Saldivia-Siracusa, Leonor Victoria González-Pérez, Florence Juana Maria Cuadra Zelaya, Roberto Gerber-Mora, Osmani Fabricio Guevara Cabrera, Ronell Bologna-Molina, Gerardo Gilligan, Wilson Delgado-Azañero, Arvind Babu Rajendra Santosh, Wilfredo Alejandro González-Arriagada, Mariana Villarroel-Dorrego, Bernardo Venegas Rojas, Karen Patricia Domínguez Gallagher, Elena María José Román Tager, Saray Aranda-Romo, Gilda Lucía García-Heredia, Efrain Cima Garcia, Ileana Hurtado, Claudette Arambú TurciosLeira Patricia Solis Espinal, Rúben Alexander Martínez González, Ana Carolina Prado Ribeiro, Rejane Faria Ribeiro-Rotta, Luiz Paulo Kowalski, Maria Paula Curado, Tatiana Natasha Toporcov, Thomas Peter Sollecito, Andre Lopes Carvalho, Marcio Ajudarte Lopes, Saman Warnakulasuriya, Alan Roger Santos-Silva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to explore perceived barriers to early diagnosis and management of oral cancer, as well as potential pathways for improvement in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Methods: This cross-sectional study used a self-administered online questionnaire created via the Research Electronic Data Capture platform. The survey was distributed to health professionals trained in Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Dentists with clinical and academic expertise in oral potentially malignant disorder (OPMD) and oral cancer. Data obtained were systematically organized and analyzed descriptively using Microsoft Excel. Results: Twenty-three professionals from 21 LAC countries participated. Major barriers included the limited implementation of OPMD and oral cancer control plans (17.4%), low compulsory reporting for OPMD (8.7%) and oral cancer (34.8%), unclear referral pathways for OPMD (34.8%) and oral cancer (43.5%), and a shortage of trained professionals (8.7%). Participants endorsed the utility of online education (100%) and telemedicine (91.3%). Conclusion: The survey highlights major perceived barriers to early diagnosis and management of OPMD and oral cancer in LAC, as well as potential avenues for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalOral Diseases
Early online date21 Feb 2024
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • Latin America
  • cancer registries
  • early detection
  • oral cancer
  • oral medicine
  • oral potentially malignant disorders


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