A Study of the Awareness of Oral Cancer and its Associated Risk Factors Amongst O.P.D. Attendees at a Teaching Hospital of Bhubaneswar, India
Background: Oral cavity cancer is amongst the most prevalent cancers in India and incidence rates are higher in men than women. In India use of the smokeless tobacco product called gutkha /paan, is extremely popular especially in Northern part of India. Age-adjusted rates of oral cancer in India are high, which is, 20 per 100,000 population and accounts for over 30% of all cancers in the country (2) along with oral cancer there is high risk of sub-mucosal fibrosis causing sever morbidity and lifetime disability. Delayed presentation of oral cancer is mainly due to lack of awareness of the public about oral cancer and its associated risk factors.
Methods: A cross section study was carried out in OPD of Medical Teaching Hospital and patients were accessed for their socio-demographic profile, awareness and knowledge about early signs of cancer.
Results: Out of 450 participants 68% were male and rest females. Level of awareness about early signs of oral cancer was poor i.e. 35% whereas 49% of the studied population had one or more behavioral risk factor associated with oral cancer. Only 18% of participants who regularly take professional help for oral health.
Conclusions: The awareness level is not satisfactory and presence of behavioral risk factor for oral cancer is significant among studied population. There is a need of IEC among the general population about pre-cancerous/cancerous lesions and association of smoked/smokeless tobacco or alcohol with oral cancer.
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