The Self—Reported Knowledge, Attitude and the Practices Regarding the Early Detection of Oral Cancer and Precancerous Lesions among the Practising Dentists of Dakshina Kannada — A Pilot Study
Dr Shaila M,
Reader, Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology,
K V G Dental College and Hospital, Kurunjibag,
Sullia-574327, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Oral squamous cell carcinoma is one of the leading causes of mortality in India. The screening and the early detection of the premalignant and malignant lesions are the only means for controlling the disease. General dental practitioners can play a great role in this direction. The objective of the present study was to assess the self-reported knowledge, attitude, as well as the practices concerning the early detection of oral cancer among the dentists of Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka, India.
Materials and Methods: About 200 clinicians (BDS/MDS) were randomly selected for an 18 itemed questionnaire survey. The aspects which were enquired into were the usage of exfoliative cytology in their clinical practice, the recent attempts which are made by dentists at updating their knowledge on oral cancer, their practical approaches towards the screening for oral premalignant diseases, etc.
Results: Over 98% of the dentists reported to have not performed exfoliative cytology in their clinics. However, 85% had attended education programs on oral cancer. About 72% felt the need to be trained and they welcomed the suggestion of conducting practical workshops in this direction. 29.5% conducted biopsies when they encountered suspicious looking lesions, but only 13% counseled such patients for the habit cessation. 86% felt the need for Oral Pathology consultants in their clinics.
Conclusion: This pilot survey identified an existing gap in the knowledge and practices among physicians and dentists and this emphasises the need to increase the numbers of oral cancer detection workshops which are held among the professional groups.