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


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.



  1. Agrawal M, Pandey S, Jain S, et al (2012). Oral cancer awareness of the general public in Gorakhpur city, India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 5195-9.
  2. Al Dubai SA, Ganasegeran K, Alabsi AM, et al (2012). Awareness and knowledge of oral cancer among university students in Malaysia. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 165-8.
  3. Alaizari NA, Al-Maweri SA (2014). Oral cancer: knowledge, practices and opinions of dentists in yemen. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 5627-31.
  4. Al-Attas SA, Ibrahim SS, Amer HA, et al (2014). Prevalence of potentially malignant oral mucosal lesions among tobacco users in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 757-62.
  5. Ariyawardana A, Ekanayake L (2008). Screening for oral cancer/ pre-cancer: knowledge and opinions of dentists employed in the public sector dental services of Sri Lanka. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 9, 615-8.
  6. Boroumand S, Garcia AI, Selwitz RH, et al (2008). Knowledge and opinions regarding oral cancer among Maryland dental students. J Cancer Educ, 23, 85-91.
  7. Byakodi R, Byakodi S, Hiremath S, et al (2012). Oral cancer in India: an epidemiologic and clinical review. J Community Health, 37, 316-9.
  8. Cannick GF, Horowitz AM, Drury TF, et al (2005). Assessing oral cancer knowledge among dental students in South Carolina. J Am Dent Assoc, 136, 373-8.
  9. Carter LM, Ogden GR (2007). Oral cancer awareness of undergraduate medical and dental students. BMC Med Educ, 7, 44.
  10. Clark NP, Marks JG, Sandow PR, et al (2014). Comparative effectiveness of instructional methods: oral and pharyngeal cancer examination. J Dent Educ, 78, 622-9.
  11. Davis JM, Ramseier CA, Mattheos N, et al (2010). Education of tobacco use prevention and cessation for dental professionals--a paradigm shift. Int Dent J, 60, 60-72.
  12. Decuseara G, MacCarthy D, Menezes G (2011). Oral cancer: knowledge, practices and opinions of dentists in Ireland. J Ir Dent Assoc, 57, 209-14.
  13. Dumitrescu AL, Ibric S, Ibric-Cioranu V (2014). Assessing oral cancer knowledge in romanian undergraduate dental students. J Cancer Educ, 29, 506-13.
  14. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al (2010). Estimates of worldwide burden of cancer in 2008: GLOBOCAN 2008. Int J Cancer, 127, 2893-917.
  15. Ghani WM, Doss JG, Jamaluddin M, et al (2013). Oral cancer awareness and its determinants among a selected Malaysian population. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 1957-63.
  16. Goyal S, Tiwari VK, Nair KS, et al (2014). Risk factors and costs of oral cancer in a tertiary care hospital in Delhi. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 1659-65.
  17. Halawany HS, Jacob V, Abraham NB, et al (2013). Oral cancer awareness and perception of tobacco use cessation counseling among dental students in four Asian countries. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 3619-23.
  18. Holmes JD, Dierks EJ, Homer LD, et al (2003). Is detection of oral and oropharyngeal squamous cancer by a dental health care provider associated with a lower stage at diagnosis? J Oral Maxillofac Surg, 61, 285-91.
  19. Honarmand M, Hajihosseini A, Akbari F (2014). Oral cancer knowledge of senior dental students in Zahedan, South-East of Iran. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 3017-20.
  20. Joseph BK (2002). Oral cancer: prevention and detection. Med Princ Pract, 11, 32-5.
  21. Joseph BK, Sundaram DB, Ellepola AN (2014). Assessing oral cancer knowledge among undergraduate dental students in Kuwait University. J Cancer Educ, (in press).
  22. Kazmi F, Chaudhary Ma, Mumtaz M, Et Al (2011). Oral cancer knowledge and awareness amongst undergraduate dental students Of Lahore--Pakistan. Pakistan Oral Dental J, 31.
  23. Kujan O, Alzoghaibi I, Azzeghaiby S, et al (2014). Knowledge and attitudes of Saudi dental undergraduates on oral cancer. J Cancer Educ, 29, 735-8.
  24. Lin WJ, Jiang RS, Wu SH, et al (2011). Smoking, alcohol, and betel quid and oral cancer: a prospective cohort study. J Oncol, 2011, 525976.
  25. Lohavanichbutr P, Houck J, Fan W, et al (2009). Genomewide gene expression profiles of HPV-positive and HPV-negative oropharyngeal cancer: potential implications for treatment choices. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 135, 180-8.
  26. Lu CY (2009). Observational studies: a review of study designs, challenges and strategies to reduce confounding. Int J Clin Pract, 63, 691-7.
  27. Miller PM, Ravenel MC, Shealy AE, et al (2006). Alcohol screening in dental patients: the prevalence of hazardous drinking and patients' attitudes about screening and advice. J Am Dent Assoc, 137, 1692-8.
  28. Ogden GR, Mahboobi N (2011). Oral cancer awareness among undergraduate dental students in Iran. J Cancer Educ, 26, 380-5.
  29. Reichart PA, Philipsen HP (2005). Oral erythroplakia--a review. Oral Oncol, 41, 551-61.
  30. Saleh A, Kong YH, Vengu N, et al (2014). Dentists' perception of the role they play in early detection of oral cancer. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 229-37.
  31. Scheifele C, Nassar A, Reichart PA (2007). Prevalence of oral cancer and potentially malignant lesions among shammah users in Yemen. Oral Oncol, 43, 42-50.
  32. Scully C, Porter S (2000). ABC of oral health. Swellings and red, white, and pigmented lesions. Bmj, 321, 225-8.
  33. Siegel R, Naishadham D, Jemal A (2012). Cancer statistics, 2012. CA Cancer J Clin, 62, 10-29.
  34. Tadbir AA, Ebrahimi H, Pourshahidi S, et al (2013). Evaluation of levels of knowledge about etiology and symptoms of oral cancer in southern Iran. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 2217-20.
  35. Uti OG, Fashina AA (2006). Oral cancer education in dental schools: knowledge and experience of Nigerian undergraduate students. J Dent Educ, 70, 676-80.

Cited by

  1. Oral Cancer Awareness Among Dental Patients in Omdurman, Sudan: a cross-sectional Study vol.17, pp.1, 2017,
  2. Knowledge and Attitudes About Oral Cancer Among Dental Students After Bologna Plan Implementation vol.32, pp.3, 2017,
  3. Tobacco Cessation Counseling: Attitudes and Practices among Yemeni Dental Professionals pp.1543-0154, 2017,