Predictors of Knowledge of Risk Factors of Oral Cancer among Patients Seeking Dental Treatment in a Nigerian Tertiary Institution
Background: One of the main causes of mortality and morbidity of oral cancer is lack of awareness about risk factors and symptoms. This study aimed to assess the level of awareness and knowledge of risk factors of patients regarding oral cancer. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study of 103 patients seen at the oral diagnosis unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Owo was done. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect data on Oral Cancer (OC). Data was analysed with SPSS version 21.0. Descriptive statistics were done. Associations were explored with Chi square test. Predictors of good knowledge were determined using binary logistic regression. Results: The mean age of respondent was 35 years ± 13.4 Standard Deviation. In all. 27(26.2%) were below 25 years. Males were 29(28.2%). Current smokers were 13(13.8%). Those who had ever heard about OC were 55(53.4%). Dental clinic was the source where most people heard about OC 18(32%) followed by television 16(29.09%). Only 29(52.7%) had good knowledge of OC. Among patients with tertiary level of education 27(81.8%) had good knowledge of the risk factors for OC compared to 2(16.7%) of those who do not have tertiary level of education, p<0.001. Good knowledge was found in 28 (75.7%) of those who do not currently smoke cigarette compared to 1(14.3%) of those who smoke, p=0.004. The odds of having good knowledge among those with tertiary level of education was about 13 times (C I: 2.03-84.81) than those who had below tertiary education, p=0.007. Conclusion: Awareness regarding oral cancer and knowledge of its risk factors and symptoms is low. Dentists have important roles to play in increasing awareness and knowledge about OC.