AIM: The aim of the present study was to investigate the awareness of oral cancer among adults in Jakarta, Indonesia, and explore the factors influencing it. METHODS: A previously-tested questionnaire on 1000 adults in Jakarta was used in the present study. The data included sociodemographic factors and answers to assess the awareness of oral cancer, early signs and symptoms, risks factors, lifestyles, and history of dental visits. RESULTS: Only 53.2% of participants were aware of oral cancer. The level of awareness significantly differed by level of education, occupation, and experience of dental visits. Only 30% of patients had been asked about their tobacco and alcohol habits, and had been informed about the hazards of these by their dentists. All of the smokers knew that tobacco increased the risk for oral cancer. However, only a few participants considered alcohol, betel quid chewing, UV light exposure, poor diet, and genetics to play role in the development of oral cancer. Health warnings were the main source of information about oral cancer; the role of health professionals is still quite low and needs to be emphasized. CONCLUSION: Oral cancer awareness is still low among adults in Jakarta; this finding was consistent with other studies conducted in Asia. Educational material suited to particular communities is warranted.
- oral cancer
- risk factor