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Knowledge and Opinions Regarding Oral Cancer among Yemeni Dental Students

  • Al-Maweri, Sadeq Ali (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Abbas, Alkasem (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Sana'a University) ;
  • Tarakji, Bassel (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Al-Farabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing) ;
  • Al-Jamaei, Aisha Saleh (Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnosis, Sana'a University) ;
  • Alaizari, Nader Ahmed (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)
  • Published : 2015.03.18

Abstract

Background: Oral cancer presents with high mortality rates, and the likelihood of survival is remarkably superior when detected early. Health care providers, particularly dentists, play a critical role in early detection of oral cancers and should be knowledgeable and skillful in oral cancer diagnosis. Purpose: The aim of the present study was to assess the current knowledge of future Yemeni dentists and their opinions on oral cancer. Materials and Methods: A pretested self-administered questionnaire was distributed to fourth and fifth year dental students. Questions relating to knowledge of oral cancer, risk factors, and opinions on oral cancer prevention and practices were posed. Results: The response rate was 80%. The vast majority of students identified smoking and smokeless tobacco as the major risk factors for oral cancer. Most of the students (92.6%) knew that squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of oral cancer, and 85.3% were aware that tongue and floor of the mouth are the most likely sites. While the majority showed willingness to advise their patients on risk factors, only 40% felt adequately trained to provide such advice. More than 85% of students admitted that they need further information regarding oral cancer. As expected, students of the final year appeared slightly more knowledgeable regarding risk factors and clinical features of the disease. Conclusions: The findings of the present study suggest that here is a need to reinforce the undergraduate dental curriculum with regards to oral cancer education, particularly in its prevention and early detection.

Keywords

Oral cancer;dental students;knowledge;opinions;Yemen

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