Prevention and early detection of oral and pharyngeal cancer in veterans.
OBJECTIVES: To assess knowledge of oral and pharyngeal cancer (OPC) clinical signs and risk factors, the association between the risk factors and OPC, and the experience with OPC screening between newly diagnosed OPC patients and controls among a population of veterans in North Carolina. STUDY DESIGN: A case-control study with 31 OPC cases and 30 frequency-matched controls recruited from 2003 to 2004. Bivariate analysis using chi-square statistics and multivariate logistic regression was implemented to estimate the association with OPC. RESULTS: Only 34% of respondents knew 1 clinical sign and 4 or 5 risk factors for OPC. The lifetime accumulation of tobacco had a significant relationship with OPC (>20 pack-years; OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.01-10.3). Many respondents had not had an oral cancer examination within 3 years, mostly through ignorance. Most VA OPC patients were diagnosed by physicians, rather than by dentists. CONCLUSIONS: A considerable knowledge deficit on OPC was found among North Carolina veterans. Use of tobacco was a risk factor for OPC in this population.
Kim, H-Y; Elter, JR; Francis, TG; Patton, LL
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