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Awareness on cytology procedure in oral cancer detection among undergraduates: An institutional study
Gayathri Ramesh, Rajeev Pathak, Sunita Pathak, Amrita Raj, Amit Kumar and Anuradha Katiyar

Background: The screening and the early detection of the premalignant and malignant lesions are the only means for controlling the oral cancer which is known to be one of the leading causes for mortality worldwide. Oral exfoliative cytology though not a substitute for biopsy can be a powerful tool for its early detection. Dental Surgeons can play a great role in this direction.

Aims and Objectives: The present study was undertaken to assess the self-reported knowledge and attitude regarding the early detection of oral cancer and exfoliative cytology among the undergraduates of Rama Dental College, Kanpur.

Material and Methods: A pretested questionnaire based cross sectional study consisting of twenty four questions was conducted among hundred randomly selected students from third year, final year and intern’s batch.

Results: According to 73% of students biopsy was the special test done in oral cancer detection and only 59% had heard regarding oral cytology technique. Formalin was the fixative known for cytology smears among 61%. Significance of toluidine blue staining was not known by 62%. Seventy seven percent of students were not aware about classes of cytology reporting. Eighty six percent of students felt that the adequacy of training in cytology was lagging.

Conclusion: This survey identified an existing gap in the knowledge among the dental students regarding cytology as a diagnostic aid in oral cancer detection. This emphasizes the need to provide training for undergraduates at clinical level on regular basis and also through CDE and oral cancer detection workshops.

Keywords: detection, exfoliative cytology, knowledge, practice, oral cancer

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