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Public Awareness and Knowledge of Oral Cancer in Yemen

  • Al-Maweri, Sadeq Ali (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi College of Dentistry and Nursing, Department of Oral Medicine, Sana'a University) ;
  • Addas, Abdallah (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi College of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Tarakji, Bassel (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi College of Dentistry and Nursing, Department of Oral Medicine, Sana'a University) ;
  • Abbas, Alkasem (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Sanaa University) ;
  • Al-Shamiri, Hashem M. (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi College of Dentistry and Nursing, Department of Oral Medicine, Sana'a University) ;
  • Alaizari, Nader Ahmed (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi College of Dentistry and Nursing, Department of Oral Medicine, Sana'a University) ;
  • Shugaa-Addin, Bassam (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi College of Dentistry and Nursing, Department of Oral Medicine, Sana'a University)
  • Published : 2015.01.22

Abstract

Background: Oral cancer is in increasing in incidence in Yemen and indeed worldwide. Knowledge regarding risk factors and early signs in the general population can help in prevention and early detection of the disease. Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the level of awareness and knowledge of oral cancer in the general population in Yemen. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire was conducted on Yemeni adults aged ${\geq}15$ years old. A total of 543 persons participated, the collected data being analyzed using SPSS software. The significance level was set at p<0.05. Results: Two thirds (71.5%) of the participants had heard about oral cancer. Smoking and smokeless tobacco usage were identified as the major risk factors by 71.5% and 73.7% of the participants, respectively. Only 24.1% and 21.4%, respectively, were able to correctly identify red and white lesions as early signs of oral cancer. Knowledge of oral cancer was significantly associated with age (p<0.01), gender (p<0.05) and education level (p<0.001). Conclusions: The findings suggest that the knowledge regarding oral cancer in this population is low. Therefore, educational programs are highly needed to improve such knowledge.

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