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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-43

Is Oral cancer related to Socio demographic factors? - A Hospital based study of patients from urban areas of Tamil Nadu

1 Post graduate student, Department of Public Health dentistry, Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, India
2 Professor and Head, Department of Public Health dentistry, Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, India
3 Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Health dentistry, Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
R Ganesh
Department o f Public Health Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Saveetha University, 162, Poonamalee high road, Chennai-77
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Introduction: India has one of the highest rates of oral cancer in the world accounting for onethird of the total cancers and unfortunately this figures continue to rise. There is uncertainty andlimited recognition of the relationship between socio-demographic inequalities and oral cancer.Hence the aim of this study is to assess the socio-demographic profile of urban oral cancer patientsresiding in urban areas of Tamil Nadu, India. Methods: A cross sectional study was done at a cancer hospital in Chennai. The studypopulation were subjects with oral cancer who reported for treatment. A pretested intervieweradministered questionnaire was used to assess the socioeconomic status of urban oral cancerpatients using Kuppuswamy's scale of classification. Results: A total of 128 oral cancer patients aged 20-83 years and above comprised the studypopulation. About 52.4% of the study subjects belonged to the upper lower andl9.5% of the studysubjects belonged to lower middle socio economic classes. About 28.6% of urban subjects wereunskilled labourers. 71.9% of the study subjects had family income below Rs 5000. The percentageof illiterates was 21.9% in the study subjects. The difference in the prevalence of oral cancer amongdifferent levels of literacy and occupation was found to be statistically significant. Conclusion: This study shows that lower socioeconomic status subjects are affected more byoral cancer than other social classes in terms of education, occupation and income. Though the studyis hospital based and represents only the people obtaining treatment during the duration of the study,identifying occupation, income and education specific factors can help in formulating betterpolicies for oral cancer treatment.

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