The Importance of Knowledge of Risk Factors and Clinical Evaluation for Oral Precancerous Lesions and Oral Cancer in Dentists Community of Tirana
Keywords:Oral Cancer, Oral Precancerous Lesions, Dentists.
Early detection is the most effective way for survival and reduced mortality in the case of oral cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge of dentists regarding early detection of oral cancer and precancerous lesions in many Dental Clinics in Tirana, Albania. This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study, where 200 general dentists practicing in private and University clinic in Tirana are involved in one questionnaire, between June - October 2022. This study was conducted using a simple random sampling technique with a self-reported questionnaire with open and closed questions. The dentists, aged from 25 to above 50, were well informed about the major risk factors associated with oral cancer. Around 25% of the respondent paid attention to the overall tongue as a potential site for malignancy. Looking at the dentist’s knowledge about oral cancer; enlargement of cervical lymph nodes was the best-known clinical presentation of oral cancer (85.5%), followed by persistent ulcer (82.5 %). 68/200 dentists felt confident to examine and diagnose an oral precancerous/cancer lesion. Only 11.5% felt adequately trained in diagnostic techniques for early detection of oral precancerous/cancer lesion and were comfortable in performing a biopsy. Mostly the participants (89%) felt that they need further training on oral precancerous/cancer lesion early detection. Dentists must know more scientific data related to precancerous lesions to optimize early diagnosis and referral of patients. There is need for further training courses and continuing education regarding early detection and prevention of oral cancer.