AWARENESS OF ORAL CANCER AMONG GENERAL PUBLIC IN LIBYA: AQUESTIONNAIRE-BASED SURVEY
Cancer is a major health problem in both developed and developing countries. Fighting against cancer require health care professionals to be well trained in diagnosing as well as organizing public education programs. This study is to evaluate public knowledge of oral cancer risk factors, and to assess their awareness of oral cancer examination. A questionnaire was designed to collect information about awareness of oral cancer, knowledge of conditions associated with alcohol and tobacco use, perception of risks of oral cancer, and subjects’ attitude twards oral cancer screening. 122 participates (57.4% females and 42.6% males) had responded to the questionnaire. The responses revealed that 64% have heard about oral cancer and that media was the common source of information (59%). Some participants (35.2%) believe that oral cancer is preventable whilst 54.0% of the participants pointed that they do not know. More than 45.1% of the respondents were aware that smoking is a risk. 23.7% of the respondents considered sore lesions in mouth that does not heal as an early sign of oral cancer. To sum up, there is unawareness of the unhealthy habits, signs, and symptoms of oral cancer. Education programs can be carried out through mass media means raise awareness of such issues.