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Reason for last oral cancer exam

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults who had an oral cancer exam (CORALEXAMEV, CORALEXNECK, CORALEXTONG) in the previous three years, CORALEXWHY reports the main reason for the exam.


In 1992, the survey form directed interviewers to hand respondents a flashcard on which was written the following response categories:

1. Because of a specific oral problem
2. Follow-up to a previous oral problem
3. Part of a routine physical exam
4. Part of a routine dental exam
5. Other (specify)

The 1992 survey manual also directed respondents to read these categories during a telephone interview and to mark only one response.

In the event that the respondent answered the question before looking at the flashcard or before all the responses were read, the 1992 Field Representative's Manual directed interviewers to, "Make sure the (respondent) looks at the flashcard (or hears the entire list) and picks a response from the list."

In 2008, the response categories were either, "Part of a routine check-up" or "For a specific problem." If respondents answered both, the 2008 survey form instructed interviewers to code the response as part of a routine check-up.

For more information, please see CORALEXAMEV and CORALEXHEAR.


The response categories differ between 1992 and 2008 as discussed in the Description tab. To increase comparability, researchers can combine IPUMS NHIS codes 11 and 12 into 10 to make a category of specific problem. Similarly, researchers could combine 21 and 22 into 20 to make a category for a routine exam.


  • 1992: Half of sample persons age 18+ in quarters 1 and 2, and in 2 weeks of quarter 3 (excluded from CAEP supplement) who ever had or think they had a test for oral cancer and had the most recent test in the past 3 years.
  • 2008: Sample adults 18+ have had oral cancer exam within last 3 years.


  • 1992, 2008