The Effects of Educational Levels on the Knowledge of Risk Factors and Awareness of Oral Cancer in a Turkish Population: A Cross-sectional Electronic Media Based Survey Study
Özkan ÇELİK1,Işık İrem İNCEOĞLU1,Dila Duygu SAC1, Merva SOLUK TEKKEŞİN2
1Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry, İstanbul-Turkey
2Department of Tumor Pathology, Istanbul University Institute of Oncology, İstanbul-Turkey
DOI : 10.5505/tjo.2021.2739 OBJECTIVE
The aim of this survey study was to evaluate the effects of educational levels on knowledge about the symptoms and risk factors and the awareness of the oral cancer in a Turkish population.

In this cross-sectional study, a 17-item close-ended questionnaire was prepared that required 3-5 min to complete. The questions were prepared electronically through Survey Monkey, distributed by social media and the participants gave their answers on their electronic devices. Descriptive statistics of demographic variables and other data were reported as percentages and statistical analyses were performed using the Chi-square test.

A total of 3246 people participated in the survey. About 64% of the respondents stated that they had previously heard of "oral cancer." A statistically significant difference was determined in the awareness and knowledge of oral cancer concerning educational levels of participants (<0.001). About 88.22% of the participants stated that non-healing wounds were symptoms of cancer. In addition, they stated that red (44.93%) and white patches (42.09%) were to be expected as an early symptom of oral cancer.

Despite some encouraging results, it is necessary to increase the level of consciousness of the general population, especially those below the university education level, with various education and awareness programs to reduce morbidity and mortality. Keywords : Awareness; educational level; electronic survey; knowledge; oral cancer; public health