Abysmal awareness on oral cancer: BBCI survey

At a time when Assam has the highest load of cancer cases after Mizoram
Abysmal awareness on oral cancer: BBCI survey


GUWAHATI: At a time when Assam has the highest load of cancer cases after Mizoram, a survey conducted by Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) has found abysmal awareness on oral cancer among the public. The survey results have shocked cancer care experts in the State.

The survey was conducted by the Department of Preventive Oncology at BBCI. A total of 250 participants were surveyed to understand different levels of awareness about mouth cancer. The age of survey participants ranged from 25 years to 59 years. One hundred and twenty-four (49.6%) and 126 (50.4%) participants of the survey were men and women, respectively.

Among the survey participants, 120 (48%) were from rural areas, 119 (47.6%) were from urban areas, and 11 (4.4%) participants were from semi-urban locations. In the survey, 98 (39.2%) participants were educated with postgraduate qualifications, 68 (27.2%) were graduates, and 84 (33.6%) participants had below graduate qualifications.

It was seen that 12 (4.8%) survey participants did not know that cancer can occur in the mouth or oral cavity. Twenty-six (12.4%) respondents were completely unaware that tobacco chewing can cause mouth cancer. Of respondents who were aware, 218 (97.3%) responses noted that tobacco in any form was a risk factor for mouth cancer, 172 (76.7%) responses noted that areca nut chewing, khaini, zarda, etc consumption can result in mouth cancer, and poor dental hygiene as a risk for mouth cancer was seen in 120 (53.5%) responses.

A total of 42 (16.8%) respondents do not know about presenting signs and symptoms of mouth cancer. Shockingly, 67 (26.8%) respondents who participated in the survey never heard about oral cavity cancer screening for its early detection.

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