|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 83-85
Awareness and knowledge on oral cancer in a population of urban slum area in Guntur city
Srinivas Ravoori1, Parveen Sultana Shaik2, Suresh Chand Yaddanapalli2, Nijampatnam P M. Pavani2, Deepika Jasti3, Vikram Simha Bomireddy1
1 Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Panineeya Dental College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
|Date of Submission||02-Dec-2019|
|Date of Acceptance||10-Dec-2019|
|Date of Web Publication||03-Jan-2020|
Department of Public Health Dentistry, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: Oral cancer is a significant world health problem, and it is the sixth most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Screening may assist with early detection and improve patient outcomes.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out in one of the populated slum areas of Guntur city. A questionnaire was designed to collect personal information and assess participants' knowledge about oral cancer, etiology, and risk factors after informing the importance of the study, and informed consent was taken before the start of the study. Thus, obtained data were analyzed using SPSS software version 21 by Mann–Whitney U-test and Kruskal–Wallis test; significance was estimated at P ≤ 0.05.
Results: Majority of individuals irrespective of age have gained information on oral cancer from television, while almost all the participants with their respective socioeconomic status have responded that they do not know the signs of oral cancer which is statistically significant (P ≤ 0.001, r = 0.030).
Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed that there was lack of awareness and knowledge on oral cancer in a slum population in Guntur city. Therefore, it is high time to implement oral health promotion strategy and appropriate measures for early detection of oral cancer.
Keywords: Awareness, knowledge, oral cancer, socioeconomic status, urban
|How to cite this article:|
Ravoori S, Shaik PS, Yaddanapalli SC, M. Pavani NP, Jasti D, Bomireddy VS. Awareness and knowledge on oral cancer in a population of urban slum area in Guntur city. Int J Prev Clin Dent Res 2019;6:83-5
|How to cite this URL:|
Ravoori S, Shaik PS, Yaddanapalli SC, M. Pavani NP, Jasti D, Bomireddy VS. Awareness and knowledge on oral cancer in a population of urban slum area in Guntur city. Int J Prev Clin Dent Res [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 5];6:83-5. Available from: http://www.ijpcdr.org/text.asp?2019/6/4/83/274679
| Introduction|| |
Oral cancer is a significant world health problem, and it is the sixth most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Screening may assist with early detection and improve patient outcomes. Oral cancer is increasing in the Indian subcontinent mainly due to lack of oral hygiene, tobacco use, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Betel quid and smokeless tobacco chewing are also important risk factors in some populations, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection appears to be a risk factor for younger populations, and ultraviolet light is implicated in lip cancer., Although the oral cavity is a potentially accessible site for examination, up to 50% of oral cancers are not detected until the disease is well advanced. Conventionally, oral cancer is a disease mainly affecting the older age group. This has generally been attributed to indiscriminate substance abuse, particularly the use of tobacco and related products, over a considerable period of time. Oral cancer can be prevented by avoiding risk factors, such as tobacco and alcohol use, excessive sun exposure, and sexual behaviors, leading to exposure to HPV. Lack of awareness of the public about oral cancer and its associated risk factors usually results in delayed presentation, increased treatment morbidity, and reduced survival rates. There are limited data on the prevalence and risk factors of oral cancer in the slum population in Guntur city. In addition, little is known about public awareness and beliefs regarding oral cancer. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to determine the levels of public awareness and knowledge about the signs and risk factors of oral cancer.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out in one of the slum population areas in Guntur city. The sample size was estimated using 4pq/d2 which resulted in a sample size of 606 subjects. Approval is taken from institutional ethical committee, while the validity and reliability of questionnaire were estimated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient α =0.78. A questionnaire was designed to collect personal information and assess the participant's knowledge about oral cancer, etiology, and risk factors after informing the importance of the study. Informed consent was taken before the start of the study. Inclusion criteria included those who showed interest, while signed consent form was taken from all the participants. Thus, data obtained were analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software for Windows, version 21.0 (IBM, Armonk, New York) by Mann–Whitney U-test and Kruskal–Wallis test, while significance was estimated at P ≤ 0.05.
| Results|| |
On inquiry regarding the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, 71.1% answered no idea, 9.6% said abnormal tissue growth, 10.6% said nonhealing ulcer, and 4.5% said white/red spots. Only 12.4% of the study population believed that oral cancer could be preventable. Majority of individuals irrespective of age have gained information on oral cancer from television. Majority of participants answered physician as their first preference and 4.1% of the population were not aware of whom to consult while only 25.7% of them consult a dentist. When asked regarding the willingness toward screening for oral cancer, 46.5% of study participants showed interest in oral cancer screening. When asked whether the smoking of beedis does increase the chance of oral cancer, 91.9% answered correctly while 1.2% said too much exposure to sun increases the risk of oral cancer [Table 1]. The risk factor for oral cancer was tobacco usage which was given by lower class (100) and upper-lower class (92.6) (P = 0.303, r = 0.093); upper-lower class (94.9%) and lower class (100%) had depended on social media as a source of information for oral cancer, but the least sought the information from the physician and the dentist (P = 0.094, r = 0.054).
|Table 1: Responses of the participants to various knowledge-based questions on oral cancer|
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| Discussion|| |
In this study, level of knowledge on oral cancer increased with an increase in education level, which is similar to the study done by Elango JK et al. where, the awareness of oral cancer was proportional to the educational level of the subjects while Singh et al. reported that awareness level about oral cancer is less among the illiterates. In the current study, only 91.9% have answered tobacco as the risk factor for oral cancer, while 71.1% did not know the signs of oral cancer, whereas in the study done by Vishma et al., 39.5% did not know the symptoms of oral cancer and 26.5% did not know the risk factors for oral cancer. Irrespective of gender, almost all the participants answered television (94.6%) as their source of information regarding oral cancer, while in a study done by Singh and Singh, most of the respondents yielded knowledge and awareness of oral cancer from mass media (63.2%), followed by dentist (23.4%). In the present study, majority of them said that they knew chewing tobacco increases one's risk for oral cancer and smoking and eating spicy foods do not increase one's chances of oral cancer, while most of them said that oral cancer can be cured which is in contrast to the study conducted by Al-Maweri et al. and Formosa et al., who found that the risk factor for oral cancer is smoking followed by smokeless tobacco. In the current study, smoking beedis does increase the chance of oral cancer and 61% answered correctly. 52% said that lip-biting does not increase the risk of oral cancer. 48% said that too much exposure to the sun increases the risk of oral cancer. 44% said that alcohol consumption increases the risk of oral cancer. In contrast to the study done by Al-Maweri et al., 56.3% identified alcohol consumption as risk factors and 16.8% sun exposure as a risk factor in lip cancer which is in difference to the study done by Shah and Praveen  where 14.5% had correctly answered the questions for causes of oral cancer.
| Conclusion|| |
The findings of the current study showed that there was general lack of awareness and knowledge on oral cancer in a slum population in Guntur city. An oral health promotion strategy involving elements of basic education on oral cancer and appropriate measures for early detection should be implemented. Control of risk factors is probably our best chance of fighting this silent epidemic. However, it must be remembered that prevention is better than cure.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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