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Oral cancer knowledge, behavior, and attitude among osteopathic medical students


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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

J Cancer Educ. 2015 Jun;30(2):231-6.


Zachary R McCready, Preetha Kanjirath, Bruno C Jham


Approximately 21,000 osteopathic medical students were enrolled in the USA in 2012-2013. These future physicians are being educated with an emphasis on a holistic or patient-centered approach, with a focus on preventive care. Considering the importance of preventive care and early diagnosis in the outcomes of oral malignancies, our goal in this study was to assess the knowledge, behavior, and attitude of osteopathic medical students in relation to oral cancer. To this end, 204 second-year (Y2) and 194 fourth-year (Y4) medical students were invited to participate in an electronic survey. Forty-one Y2 and 44 Y4 students agreed to participate (20 and 22% response rate, respectively). The results showed that most Y2 and Y4 students were knowledgeable in certain areas (demographic features, important risk factors, and histologic feature), but deficient in others (clinical presentation, association of human papillomavirus (HPV) with oropharyngeal cancers, and screening recommendations). Head, neck, and oral examination habits were reported as being performed occasionally. Overall, students reported feeling uninformed about oral cancer and showed an interest in receiving further education on the subject. Our findings confirm that an overall improvement in oral cancer education in the medical curriculum is needed. Interprofessional collaboration between dental and medical schools may prove to be a valid approach to achieve this goal, which may possibly lead to increased detection of early oral cancerous lesions and, ultimately, improved mortality rates.

Publication Date: 

2015 Jun



Mccready, RZ., Kanjirath, P., Jham, CB. (2015) 'Oral cancer knowledge, behavior, and attitude among osteopathic medical students ', J Cancer Educ. 2015 Jun;30(2):231-6.

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