Knowledge and Opinions Regarding Oral Cancer among Yemeni Dental Students


Background: Oral cancer presents with high mortality rates, and the likelihood of survival is remarkablysuperior when detected early. Health care providers, particularly dentists, play a critical role in early detectionof oral cancers and should be knowledgeable and skillful in oral cancer diagnosis. Purpose: The aim of thepresent study was to assess the current knowledge of future Yemeni dentists and their opinions on oral cancer.Materials and
Methods: A pretested self-administered questionnaire was distributed to fourth and fifth yeardental students. Questions relating to knowledge of oral cancer, risk factors, and opinions on oral cancerprevention and practices were posed.
Results: The response rate was 80%. The vast majority of students identifiedsmoking and smokeless tobacco as the major risk factors for oral cancer. Most of the students (92.6%) knewthat squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of oral cancer, and 85.3% were aware that tongue andfloor of the mouth are the most likely sites. While the majority showed willingness to advise their patients onrisk factors, only 40% felt adequately trained to provide such advice. More than 85% of students admitted thatthey need further information regarding oral cancer. As expected, students of the final year appeared slightlymore knowledgeable regarding risk factors and clinical features of the disease.
Conclusions: The findings of thepresent study suggest that here is a need to reinforce the undergraduate dental curriculum with regards to oralcancer education, particularly in its prevention and early detection.