• Awareness of oral cancers among the students of the University of Bedfordshire, Luton campus : is there a need for oral cancer awareness programme?

      Abayomi-Ojumu, Olayinka (University of Bedfordshire, 2008-10)
      Oral cancer is a malignancy that develops in and affects the mouth. It affects both male and female alike. The disease has been known to affects people older than fifty years of age; however an increasing number of younger people are now affected. Oral cancer at its earliest stage is often asymptomatic, consequently the patient may be unaware of the disease until signs and symptoms occur. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is sometimes difficult to treat; treatments for the disease at the late stage involve radical measures that frequently lead to loss of facial structures, functions aesthetics. The disease has a high mortality rates. The poor survival rate of the disease has been attributed to the late presentation ofthe patients in the hospital for treatment as well as various factors such as lack ofknowledge about the disease, the inability to readily identify the sign and symptoms of the disease or a lack ofknowledge about the risk factors ofthe disease. This study assessed the level of awareness of oral cancer among the students of the University of Bedfordshire, Luton, United Kingdom. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out using a questionnaire. 100 students comprising of43 male and 56 female were the responders. Information on knowledge of oral cancer risk factors, signs and symptoms, dental habits as well as socio- demographic details were obtain from the participants. Data was analysed with the aid of SPSS version 12 for windows software. Findings from the study indicated a low level of awareness of oral cancer among the student. Except for tobacco and cigarette; identification of the other risk factors for oral cancer was poor. Hence, public health education aimed at increasing the awareness of the disease is recommended.