Oral Health Prev Dent 14 (2016), No. 5 8. Nov. 2016
Oral Health Prev Dent 14 (2016), No. 5 (08.11.2016)
Page 403-411, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a36471, PubMed:27351736
Oral Cancer: An Evaluation of Knowledge and Awareness in Undergraduate Dental Students and the General Public
Bakr, Mahmoud M. / Skerman, Emma / Khan, Usman / George, Roy
Purpose: To evaluate the knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors associated with oral cancer amongst undergraduate dental students and members of the general public.
Materials and Methods: This study was open for a period of six months (Jan-June, 2013) to all undergraduate dental students in the 4th and 5th year of the dental science programme and dental patients attending the School of Dentistry, Griffith University, Australia. The survey evaluated the knowledge and awareness of clinical signs and symptoms and risk factors of oral cancers.
Results: A total of 100 undergraduate students and 150 patients provided informed consent and participated in this survey study. Both patients and dental students were aware of the importance of early detection of oral cancer. With the exception of smoking and persistent ulceration, this study indicated that the knowledge about oral cancer, its signs, symptoms and risk factors was limited amongst participants.
Conclusion: This study highlights the need to raise awareness and knowledge pertaining to oral cancer, not only in the general community but also amongst those in the dental field. Specific points of concern were the common intraoral sites for oral cancer, erythroplakia as a risk factor, the synergistic action of smoking and alcohol, and HPV (human papilloma virus) as risk factors for oral cancer.
Keywords: dental students, oral cancer, oral cancer screening, public awareness