Oral Cancer Awareness of the General Public in Saudi Arabia


Background: The aim of this study was to assess the level of awareness and knowledge about signs and riskfactors of oral cancer in the general population in Saudi Arabia. Materials and
Methods: A self-administeredquestionnaire was used to collect information from Saudi adults aged 15 years and older. A total of 679 personsparticipated in the survey. Descriptive statistics were calculated and chi-square tests, t-tests, and one-wayanalysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to examine differences between groups. The significance level was setat p<0.05.
Results: Only 53.6% of the participants had heard of oral cancer. Smoking and alcohol consumptionwere identified as the major risk factors by 81.7% and 56.3% of the participants, respectively. Only 22.2% and18.2%, respectively, were able to correctly identify red and white lesions as early signs of oral cancer. Participantswith less than high school education were significantly less aware, and had much less knowledge, of the signsand risk factors of oral cancer (p<0.05).
Conclusions: This survey demonstrates a general lack of awarenessamong the public about oral cancer and a lack of knowledge about its signs and risk factors. There is a clearneed to inform and educate the public in matters relating to the known risk factors associated with oral cancer.A media campaign informing the public about oral cancer is clearly required.