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Oral Cancer Awareness of the General Public in Saudi Arabia

  • Al-Maweri, Sadeq Ali (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Tarakji, Bassel (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Alsalhani, Anas B (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Al-Shamiri, Hashem M (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Alaizari, Nader Ahmed (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Altamimi, Mohammad Al Sakran (Department of Restorative Dentistry, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Darwish, Shourouk (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing)
  • Published : 2015.04.29

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to assess the level of awareness and knowledge about signs and risk factors of oral cancer in the general population in Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information from Saudi adults aged 15 years and older. A total of 679 persons participated in the survey. Descriptive statistics were calculated and chi-square tests, t-tests, and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to examine differences between groups. The significance level was set at p<0.05. Results: Only 53.6% of the participants had heard of oral cancer. Smoking and alcohol consumption were identified as the major risk factors by 81.7% and 56.3% of the participants, respectively. Only 22.2% and 18.2%, respectively, were able to correctly identify red and white lesions as early signs of oral cancer. Participants with less than high school education were significantly less aware, and had much less knowledge, of the signs and risk factors of oral cancer (p<0.05). Conclusions: This survey demonstrates a general lack of awareness among the public about oral cancer and a lack of knowledge about its signs and risk factors. There is a clear need to inform and educate the public in matters relating to the known risk factors associated with oral cancer. A media campaign informing the public about oral cancer is clearly required.

Keywords

Oral cancer;knowledge;public;Saudi Arabia

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