Awareness and knowledge of oral cancer among dental patients visiting Khartoum dental teaching hospital
Babiker, Samah Abdelaziz Elsheikh
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Background: Oral cancer is a major global healthcare problem. Its prevalence is increasing, and late-stage presentation is common. More than 500,000 patients are estimated to have oral cancer worldwide. Oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) accounts for 90-94% of oral cancers. Survival rates for oral cancer are very poor, at around 50% and has not improved considerably in the previous decades even with advances in therapeutic interventions. Screening programs have been introduced for a number of major cancers and have demonstrated a compelling effect in their early detection. It’s now well established that the early detection of the malignancies is a competent way of improving the clinical outcome for patients. It’s believed that to reduce death and morbidity from this disease it is important to detect it at an early stage, when lesions are localized. Aim: To assess the level of awareness and knowledge of oral cancer among dental patients visiting Khartoum dental teaching Hospital. Method: A cross- sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire with 18 questions was distributed to 193 patients between 18 and 65 years to collect the information. Results: The results indicate that there were more females (107; 55%) than males (86; 45%). There was a non-significant difference between alcohol consumption and awareness of oral cancer. However, the frequency results revealed that the majority of participants (98; 92 %), who reported they has heard about oral cancer, were females, while almost a quarter of participants (18; 21%) who had never heard about it, were males. This suggested that female patients were more aware of oral cancer than males. Participants, who declared hearing about oral cancer were more highly qualified educationally, whereas a quarter of them who declared they had never heard about it, were poorly qualified educationally.