OBJECTIVE: Dental and medical practitioners play a pivotal role in detecting early stages of oral cancers. Hence, future dental and medical practitioners need to have adequate knowledge of oral cancer. This study was conducted to assess the current level of knowledge, attitude and practices regarding oral cancer among dental and medical students of a Malaysian private university.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on third-, fourth- and final-year students of the dental and medical courses of MAHSA University, Malaysia. A total of 557 students participated in the survey. Oral cancer awareness, knowledge about risk factors, signs and symptoms of oral cancer, attitude and practices towards oral cancer were assessed using 43 questions. The questionnaire was pretested, and internal consistency, assessed using Cronbach's alpha, was acceptable (α > 0.7). The data were analysed using IBM SPSS version 21. The chi-square test was used to analyse the difference in oral cancer awareness between medical and dental students.
RESULTS: Among 557 participants, there were 351 (63%) medical students and 206 (37%) dental students. Based on the results obtained, dental students had a higher level of knowledge than medical students regarding oral cancer (P
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.