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Awareness on tobacco and its deleterious effects on oral health – a questionnaire based study on telangana population

Author: 
Dr. Harshavardhan Talla, Dr. Vijaya Laxmi Nimma, Dr. Jaya Krishna, B., Dr. Madhulatha, G., Dr. Deepika Meesala and Dr. Mahesh Mudavath
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Oral cancer is the sixth most commonly reported malignancy worldwide. Etiology being multifactorial with tobacco usage being identified as the strongest. The scientific evidence relating to the burden of oral diseases attributable to tobacco use has been reviewed in the past and there is a need for a well-structured dental teaching program concentrating on oral cancer awareness and tobacco cessation programs. Aims and objectives: Aim of the present study was to estimate the knowledge and awareness of oral cancer. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 500 patients visiting outpatient department of Meghna institute of dental sciences Nizamabad, over a period of 3 months. Both males and females with deleterious habits (smoking, chewing ghutka, and drinking alcohol) were included and administered with 25 closed and open ended questions after their written consent. The collected data was statistically analyzed using students t-test. Results: 91.6% population knew about cancer. Lung cancer was the cancer that most populations were aware of (36.4 %) followed by oral cancer (33.2%). Subjects were aware that ghutka chewing as the main cause of cancer, followed by smoking and drinking alcohol. Conclusion: In conclusion, this survey demonstrates adequate knowledge and moderate awareness on oral cancer in a population of North Telangana. An oral health promotion strategy should be implemented involving the elements of basic education on oral cancer and self-examination techniques of oral cavity. Importance of regular oral cancer screening should be stressed upon & implemented for prevention and early intervention of oral cancer.

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