Awareness of Mouth Cancer Among Adult Dental Patients Attending the Kuwait University Dental School Clinic
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In Kuwait, the age-standardized incidence rate (per 100,000) for oral cancer is 1.5 and the mortality rate is 0.4. Early detection of oral cancer combined with appropriate treatment greatly improves the chances of cure and the quality of life. However, little is known about patient awareness of this disease and the ability to identify early signs, particularly among high-risk groups. Hence, the aim of this study is to assess dental patients’ awareness and knowledge of mouth cancer and beliefs and perceptions about risk factors. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information from a convenience sample of outpatients attending the dental admission clinic. The questionnaire included questions to ascertain information on socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of risk factors, and signs of oral cancer as well as sources of information regarding the same. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences for Windows 19.0. A total of 160 questionnaires were distributed out of which 136 completed questionnaires were returned and used for the study. The mean knowledge score for oral cancer risk factors was found to be 5.2 ± 2.7 out of ten while that of signs and symptoms was 3.4 ± 2.7 out of eight. When the knowledge of risk factors of oral cancer was taken into consideration along with variables, significant difference was seen only in sex with women having better knowledge (p = 0.03). Knowledge about signs and symptoms of oral cancer revealed a highly significant difference with the level of education (p = 0.03). Family, friends, and colleagues were mentioned as the main source of information regarding oral cancer. Our findings suggest that knowledge regarding oral cancer risk factors, signs, and symptoms was found to be lacking among the dental patients which emphasizes the need for patient education at the dental centers as well as public awareness programs.
KeywordsOral cancer Awareness Adult dental patients
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee, and participation was on a voluntary basis. The purpose of the study was explained, and verbal consent was obtained from all participants. All respondents were assured of anonymity and confidentiality.
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