Questionnaire-based study related to the level of awareness and knowledge about oral cancer among Turkish patients with dental diseases in 2018

Document Type: Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey

2 Research Assistant, Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey

4 Professor, Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey


BACKGROUND AND AIM: In this study, the awareness and knowledge level of oral cancer (OC) was assessed among a group of patients with dental problems in Turkey.
METHODS: 509 individuals at the ages of ≥18 years, who attended to School of Dentistry of the Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey, were included in the study. To assess the respondents’ awareness and knowledge of OC, a self-administered questionnaire with 30 items was used. Some socio-demographic characteristics and smoking/alcohol habits of respondents were also asked. The data were analyzed by calculating percentages, frequency distributions, and chi-square test to assess significance. The statistical significance level was set at P < 0.050.
RESULTS: In total, 61.9% of the respondents were informed of OC with no significant differences by sex (P = 0.660). Only 31.6% of the respondents reported knowledge on OC. The respondents who claimed to have some knowledge about OC, identified non-healing ulcer as early sign and smoking as risk factor as 35.4% and 48.4%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The present study indicated an overall insufficiency of awareness and knowledge concerning OC among the subjects among a group of Turkish people with dental problems. It is recommended that effective health education programs be emphasized for the recognition of OC in Turkey.


1. Rivera C. Essentials of oral cancer. Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2015; 8(9): 11884-94.
2. Warnakulasuriya S. Global epidemiology of oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Oral Oncol 2009; 45(4-5): 309-16.
3. Cao Y, Giovannucci EL. Alcohol as a risk factor for cancer. Semin Oncol Nurs 2016; 32(3): 325-31.
4. Jafari A, Najafi S, Moradi F, Kharazifard M, Khami M. Delay in the diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer. J Dent (Shiraz) 2013; 14(3): 146-50.
5. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Bishop K, Altekruse SF, et al. SEER cancer statistics review, 1975-2013. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 2016.
6. Torre LA, Bray F, Siegel RL, Ferlay J, Lortet-Tieulent J, Jemal A. Global cancer statistics, 2012. CA Cancer J Clin 2015; 65(2): 87-108.
7. Shiboski CH, Shiboski SC, Silverman S Jr. Trends in oral cancer rates in the United States, 1973-1996. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2000; 28(4): 249-56.
8. Warnakulasuriya KA, Harris CK, Scarrott DM, Watt R, Gelbier S, Peters TJ, et al. An alarming lack of public awareness towards oral cancer. Br Dent J 1999; 187(6): 319-22.9. Peker I, Alkurt MT. Public awareness level of oral cancer in a group of dental patients. J Contemp Dent Pract 2010; 11(2): 049-56.
10. Tomar SL, Logan HL. Florida adults' oral cancer knowledge and examination experiences. J Public Health Dent 2005; 65(4): 221-30.
11. Srikanth RB, Doshi D, Padma Reddy M, Kulkarni S, Gaffar A, Ram R, V. Oral cancer awareness and knowledge among dental patients in South India. J Craniomaxillofac Surg 2012; 40(6): 521-4.
12. Formosa J, Jenner R, Nguyen-Thi MD, Stephens C, Wilson C, Ariyawardana A. Awareness and knowledge of oral cancer and potentially malignant oral disorders among dental patients in far North Queensland, Australia. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2015; 16(10): 4429-34.
13. Al-Maweri SA, Addas A, Tarakji B, Abbas A, Al-Shamiri HM, Alaizari NA, et al. Public awareness and knowledge of oral cancer in Yemen. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014; 15(24): 10861-5.
14. Rogers SN, Hunter R, Lowe D. Awareness of oral cancer in the Mersey region. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2011; 49(3): 176-81.
15. Al-Maweri SA, Al-Soneidar WA, Dhaifullah E, Halboub ES, Tarakji B. Oral cancer: Awareness and knowledge among dental patients in Riyadh. J Cancer Educ 2017; 32(2): 308-13.
16. Hassona Y, Scully C, Abu Ghosh M, Khoury Z, Jarrar S, Sawair F. Mouth cancer awareness and beliefs among dental patients. Int Dent J 2015; 65(1): 15-21.
17. Agrawal M, Pandey S, Jain S, Maitin S. Oral cancer awareness of the general public in Gorakhpur city, India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2012; 13(10): 5195-9.
18. Ariyawardana A, Vithanaarachchi N. Awareness of oral cancer and precancer among patients attending a hospital in Sri Lanka. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2005; 6(1): 58-61.
19. Ghani WM, Doss JG, Jamaluddin M, Kamaruzaman D, Zain RB. Oral cancer awareness and its determinants among a selected Malaysian population. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013; 14(3): 1957-63.
20. Kassim NK, Adnan MM, Wern CW, Ru LZ, Hanafi MH, Yusoff A. Awareness and knowledge of oral cancer among siamese ethnic group in Tumpat, Kelantan. Malays J Med Sci 2017; 24(4): 47-54.
21. Eadie D, MacKintosh AM, MacAskill S, Brown A. Development and evaluation of an early detection intervention for mouth cancer using a mass media approach. Br J Cancer 2009; 101(Suppl 2): S73-S79.
22. Tadbir AA, Ebrahimi H, Pourshahidi S, Zeraatkar M. Evaluation of levels of knowledge about etiology and symptoms of oral cancer in southern Iran. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013; 14(4): 2217-20.
23. Petti S, Scully C. Oral cancer knowledge and awareness: Primary and secondary effects of an information leaflet. Oral Oncol 2007; 43(4): 408-15.
24. McLeod NM, Saeed NR, Ali EA. Oral cancer: Delays in referral and diagnosis persist. Br Dent J 2005; 198(11): 681-4.
25. Cruz GD, Shulman LC, Kumar JV, Salazar CR. The cultural and social context of oral and pharyngeal cancer risk and control among Hispanics in New York. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2007; 18(4): 833-46.
26. Guneri P, Epstein JB. Late stage diagnosis of oral cancer: Components and possible solutions. Oral Oncol 2014; 50(12): 1131-6.
27. Peacock ZS, Pogrel MA, Schmidt BL. Exploring the reasons for delay in treatment of oral cancer. J Am Dent Assoc 2008; 139(10): 1346-52.
28. Canto MT, Kawaguchi Y, Horowitz AM. Coverage and quality of oral cancer information in the popular press: 1987-98. J Public Health Dent 1998; 58(3): 241-7.
29. Smith RA, Cokkinides V, von Eschenbach AC, Levin B, Cohen C, Runowicz CD, et al. American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer. CA: A cancer journal for clinicians 2002; 52(1): 8-22.
30. Patton LL, Agans R, Elter JR, Southerland JH, Strauss RP, Kalsbeek WD. Oral cancer knowledge and examination experiences among North Carolina adults. J Public Health Dent 2004; 64(3): 173-80.
31. Monteiro LS, Warnakulasuriya S, Cadilhe S, Sousa D, Trancoso PF, Antunes L, et al. Oral cancer awareness and knowledge among residents in the Oporto city, Portugal. J Investig Clin Dent 2016; 7(3): 294-303.
32. West R, Alkhatib MN, McNeill A, Bedi R. Awareness of mouth cancer in Great Britain. Br Dent J 2006; 200(3): 167-9, discussion.
33. Hollows P, McAndrew PG, Perini MG. Delays in the referral and treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Br Dent J 2000; 188(5): 262-5.