Introduction: Oral cancer is a major health concern globally. It is the third most common type of cancer in India and it accounts for 30% of all cancer cases in the country. In recent years, the incidence of new cases of oral cancer has increased in India especially in young adults. The rate of morbidity and mortality associated with oral cancer is higher in India as compared to western countries. It may be due to the lack of awareness and knowledge regarding oral cancer in the general public. It is a growing health concern that needs to be addressed.
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge, awareness, and attitude of the general public towards oral cancer in a population of Aligarh.
Material & Methods: A self-administered structured questionnaire consisting of 15 questions was distributed randomly in 500 patients between the age group of 20-70 years visiting the department of Oral Pathology/Oral Medicine and Radiology, Dr. Z. A. Dental College, AMU Aligarh for various dental problems.
Result: Around 45% of patients were aware of oral cancer. 84% of patients were aware that consumption of paanmasal, paan, or guthka may cause oral cancer. Only 68% of patients were aware that drinking alcohol may also cause oral cancer. Most of the people had poor knowledge regarding oral cancer. Most of them obtained information from digital or print media and not from a dentist or medical professionals. Data obtained were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis using SPSS 16. Fisher exact test was applied for data analysis.
Conclusion: Lack of knowledge and awareness regarding oral cancer and risk factors associated with it is a matter of concern. The general public must be made aware of the risk factors associated with oral cancer. Apart from digital or print media, it is the responsibility of health professionals to make people aware and caution them regarding oral cancer and its risk factors.