Ravikumar S Kulkarni1, P Dupare Arun2, Raj Rai3, V Shashi Kanth4, Vinod Sargaiyan5, S Kandasamy6
1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India.
2Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Saraswati Dental College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
3Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, NIMS Institute of Dental Sciences, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
4Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Azamgarah Dental College, Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India.
5Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Mansarovar Dental College and Research Centre, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.
6Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Mahatma Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Pondicherry, India.
Context: In India, oral cancer accounts for one-third of all cancers. Early detection and immediate intervention can lead to marked reduction in the morbidity and mortality. In India, Ayurveda and homeopathy practitioners are distributed widely in rural and urban areas and are easily accessible. Until date, no assessment on their oral cancer knowledge and practice has been done. Aims: The present study was undertaken to evaluate the knowledge, awareness, and practice concerning oral cancer. Subjects and Methods: Questionnaire comprising 15 questions was distributed to 42 Ayurveda and 38 homeopathy doctors in Davangere District, Karnataka, India, assessing their oral examination habits, knowledge on the risk factors, patient education, clinical signs of the disease and its treatment. Statistical Analysis Used: The results were analyzed using Chi-square test. Results: Lesser number of the practitioners routinely examined oral mucosa (16.7% and 5.3%, respectively). Fewer advised their patients about the risk factors (2.4% and 2.6%). Less positive response was obtained for the correct method for confirmation of diagnosis (28.6% and 15.8%). Many doctors agreed that they had not undergone training in cancer institute (P = 0.29). Twenty-three (54.8%) Ayurveda and 28 (73.7%) homeopathy doctors opined that they did not have sufficient knowledge regarding early detection and prevention of oral cancer and many were desirous of receiving further information (97.6% and 84.2% respectively). Conclusions: This study attempts to highlight the need for improving the oral cancer knowledge and awareness among practicing Ayurveda and homeopathy doctors.
Keywords: Ayurveda, homeopathy, oral cancer awareness.