Oral cancer awareness of the general public in coastal village areas of Tamilnadu, India: a population based cross sectional study
Keywords:Oral cancer, Awareness, Population based, Cross sectional study
Background: In India, the burden of oral cancer is very high, contributing greatly to morbidity and mortality. Primary prevention is the best approach to fight against this burden. For effective primary prevention, we need to assess the level of awareness among the population residing in rural India deprived of health facilities.
Methods: We conducted a population based cross sectional study in rural villages of Kancheepuram district, India, based on a pretested questionnaire, using one to one interview method, to assess the oral cancer awareness.
Results: Among the total interviewed (N=500) participants, 252 (50.4%) (CI-46.02-54.78) of the participants were aware about lung cancer followed by oral cancer 219; 43.8% (CI-39.45-48.15). Among the participants who were aware about oral cancer (n=219), most of the people were aware that alcohol (150; 68.5% (CI-62.34-74.65) and tobacco usage (147; 67.1 (CI-60.9-73.35)) are risk factors. Regarding signs and symptoms, about 89 (40.6% (CI-34.13-47.14)) participants aware that ‘non healing mouth ulcer as a common sign, 81 (37%) (CI-30.59-43.38) participants aware about ‘persistent white or red spots’, 77 (CI-35.2% (28.84-41.48) participants aware ‘lump or tissue over growth. Among the total participants (n=219), who were aware about the oral cancer, 23.3% disagreed with the question of luck, 31% believed that early detection can improve treatment, and 39.7% believed that lifestyle influence risk of oral cancer.
Conclusions: In general awareness about the oral cancer is very poor in these rural areas in South India and there is a need to device public health programme to improve the awareness and active screening of high risk population in rural areas area.
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