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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 17  |  Page : 178-184

Assessment of Oral cancer awareness amongst undergraduate Medical, Dental and Ayurvedic students of Davangere city

Department of Preventive and community dentistry, Bapuji dental College and HospitaDavangere-577004, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Early detection of oral cancer makes the sufferers more amenable to Cieatment and allows the greatest chance of cure. Delay in presentation and/or referral of oral cancer patients has a significant effect on the associated morbidity and mortality. Lack of knowledge among general medical practitioners and general dental practitioners has been shown to contribute to delay in referral and treatment The aim of the current study was to investigate the awareness about oral cancer among future general medical, dental and ayurvedic practitioners of Davangere city. Materials and Method: Self designed structured questionnaire was prepared which consisted of 10 questions related to knowledge of oral cancer risk factors and clinical appearance, oral examination practice. The questionnaires were distributed to the third and final year undergraduates and internees of medical, dental and ayurvedic professions during their regular clinical posting hours after appraising about the aim and objectives of the survey. The questionnaire required 10-15 minutes for the participants to complete. Results were analyzed using Chi-square test, Kruskal Wallis test and Wilcoxon's rank sum test. Results: Undergraduate Medical and Ayurvedic students were less likely to examine patient's oral cavity, risk factors and oral changes associate with oral cancer compared to Dental undergraduate students. Medical and ayurvedic students identified fewer risk factors and oral changes associated with oral cancer compared to dental students. However, more than 80% of the students requested for further information on prevention and early detection of oral cancer. Conclusion: Among all the three professionals, dental students were found to have adequate knowledge about oral cancer compared to medical and ayurvedic students. The study also highlights the need for improved education of undergraduate medical and dental students regarding oral cancer.

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