• 6/30/2008
  • Bethesda, MD
  • S Boroumand et al.
  • J Cancer Educ, June 1, 2008; 23(2): 85-91

Background:
Most oral cancers are diagnosed at late stages. Health care providers, particularly dentists, play a critical role in early detection of oral cancers and should be knowledgeable and skillful in oral cancer diagnosis. In this study, we assessed knowledge and opinions regarding oral cancer among dental students in Maryland.

Methods:
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among Maryland dental students in 2005.

Results:
The response rate was 59.6%. Knowledge of oral cancer was low among freshmen and significantly different from other classes. There was no statistically significant difference between 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-year students in terms of level of oral cancer knowledge. The results revealed inadequate confidence among junior and senior students with regard to oral cancer examination and lymph node palpation.

Conclusions:
Findings from this study identify areas that need reinforcement in Maryland dental school’s curriculum regarding oral cancer education. This survey approach could be a model for other dental schools in the United States or overseas.

Authors:
S Boroumand, AI Garcia, RH Selwitz, and HS Goodman

Authors’ affiliation:
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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