Mouth Cancer Awareness in General Population: Results from Grampian Region of Scotland, United Kingdom

Michal M. Kawecki (Lead / Corresponding author), Iva R. Nedeva, Jonathan Iloya, Tatiana Macfarlane

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Objectives: The purpose of this project was to determine the level of mouth cancer awareness and to investigate the associated factors in a United Kingdom (UK) general population sample.

Material and Methods: Adult Dental Health Survey (2010) was conducted in a sample of 3,353 adult residents in the Grampian region of the UK (adjusted participation rate 58%). Participants completed a questionnaire consisting of questions on oral health, health behaviour, quality of life and cancer awareness.

Results: Overall, 81% of participants were aware of mouth cancer. This was associated with younger age, higher levels of education and better general health. Current smokers and alcohol drinkers were more aware of mouth cancer. When asked about risk factors for mouth cancer, the following were identified by the respondents: smoking (84%), poor oral hygiene (60%), drinking alcohol heavily (59%), poor diet (37%), stress (15%), being overweight (6%), drinking hot liquids (5%), eating spicy food (3%), using mouthwash (2%) and kissing someone (1%). Smokers were more likely to identify smoking as a risk factor for mouth cancer. Similarly, those who consumed alcohol almost daily were more likely to identify heavy alcohol drinking as a risk factor.

Conclusions: Awareness of mouth cancer is high in respondents from the general population, and participants were able to identify the most important risk factors. Knowledge of tobacco and alcohol as risk factors was highest amongst those exposed to them. The study proposed that the prevention strategies should focus not only on increasing knowledge, but also on changing health behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019


  • alcohol drinking
  • awareness
  • mouth cancer
  • risk factors
  • tobacco


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