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Acta Odontológica Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 1852-4834


ROCHA-BUELVAS, Anderson; HIDALGO-PATINO, Carlos; COLLELA, Giuseppe  y  ANGELILLO, Italo. Oral cancer and dentists: knowledge, attitudes and practices in a south Colombian context. Acta odontol. latinoam. [online]. 2012, vol.25, n.2, pp.155-162. ISSN 1852-4834.

An estimated 36.38% of oral cancer cases in Colombia are lethal. Most cases are diagnosed in late stages, so early detection and control of risk factors would be the most effective tools for prevention. The aim of this study was to use a questionnaire to evaluate knowledge and practices regarding oral cancer among a group of dentists in southern Colombia. A sample of 93 dentists was asked to respond to a confidential survey which was based on prior studies. It was found that one quarter of the respondents knew that squamous cell carcinoma is the most frequent form of oral cancer and that leukoplakia and erythroplakia are the two lesions most probably associated to oral cancer. Most respondents believe they advise their patients adequately about suspicious lesions. Three quarters believe they are prepared to explain the risks of smoking. Over half evaluate their patients' personal history of tumors and less than one quarter evaluate the history of cancer in patients' families. In general, an oral examination is performed for cancer diagnosis and almost all the respondents consider it important to keep up to date. A statistically significant correlation was found between dentists' belief that they are adequately prepared to perform a physical examination and having attended a "formal course within the past 12 months". This study revealed that dentists' level of knowledge and application of preventive measures are an important part of the public health strategy for reducing the morbidity and mortality for oral cancer.

Palabras clave : Mouth neoplasms; Diagnosis; Attitude of health personnel; Professional practice; Colombia.

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