KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS ABOUT ORAL CANCER AMONG UNDERGRADUATE DENTAL STUDENTS
Objective: To assess the knowledge and awareness about oral cancer among undergraduate dental students.
Methods: A validated questionnaire of 10 questions, regarding the basic knowledge and awareness about oral cancer was distributed among the
year, final year, and internship (5
year trainee) of undergraduate dental program in Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Saveetha University,
Chennai. The data extracted were tabulated, statistically analyzed, and results obtained.
Results: About 41% of participants were unaware about the treatment costs for oral cancer and 33% of them said that they do not inform the patients
about the risk factors of oral cancer. 36% of participants were unsure about where to refer the patients with oral cancer. 96% of students preferred to
have more training toward oral cancer diagnosis methods and treatment options available.
Conclusion: Although the basic knowledge of the students is good, it is not adequate enough and practices about risk factors had to be reinforced
among these students so that they can help the patients in tobacco and alcohol cessation and contribute in the prevention of oral cancers. The dental
curriculum for students should lay more emphasis on diagnostic and prognostic factors of oral cancer. Morbidity and mortality are likely to be reduced
if future dentists know how to prevent and detect oral cancer.
Keywords: Knowledge, Awareness, Oral cancer, Dental students.
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