Oral Cancer and Treatment Information Involved in Therapeutic Decision-Making

(Pages: 25-31)

Maria Sofia Rini1, Stefania Zerbo S.2 and Antonina Argo2

1Private Practice of Dentistry, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy and 2Department of Health Promotion, Maternal and Child Care, “G.D’Alessandro”, Legal Medicine Section, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30576/2414-2050.2018.04.5

Early detection of oral cancer improves survival after treatment and the quality of life. The adoption of standardized methodological protocols of screening has increased the possibilities for early identification and for appropriate treatment. The informed consent must be obtained by patients before any treatment and/or surgical procedure. The clinical and surgical details must be discussed with the patient. The patient must know potential risks and benefits. Consent must be documented in the medical record and consent forms may serve to document the physician’s discussion with the patient. All dentists are trained to detect the early signs of oral cancer. The health professional have a key role in identify the early signs of oral cancer in order to plan the treatment and management of the disease. The work aims to provide simple practical information to collect the patient’s consent and encouraging him to improve healthy behaviors. In this work the critical issues of clinical practice in order to improve the management of oral cancer are analyzed. The information must include an exhaustive discussion of objectives, risks, and benefits of each option including the option of not choosing the treatment/procedure of care. The authors identify three different situations: information and consent to a generic prevention, information and consent in case of suspected diagnosis or early diagnosis and information and consent the case of advanced cancer.
The authors sought to identify effective information approaches. Approaches that need to be documented in the medical records, that become communication instrument between the patient and the physician. The folder is also a historical memory of what happened. The patient’s refusal must be informed also. The patient must know the possible risks of not proceeding with therapies or with proposed treatment.

Keywords: Oral cancer, Diagnosis, Informed consent, Consent form, Information approaches.