Oral cancer preventive campaigns: are we reaching the real target? Please cite this article as: Nemoto RP, Victorino AA, Pessoa GB, da Cunha LL, da Silva JA, Kanda JL, et al. Oral cancer preventive campaigns: are we reaching the real target? Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2015;81:44-9.

Introduction:

Oral cavity malignant neoplasms have a high mortality rate. For this reason, preventive campaigns have been developed, both to educate the population and to diagnose lesions at an early stage. However, there are studies that contest the validity of these endeavors, principally because the target audience of the campaigns may not conform to the group at highest risk for oral malignancy.

Objective:

To describe the profile of patients who avail themselves of the preventive campaign, identify the presence of oral lesions in that population, and compare that data with the epidemiological profile of patients with oral cancer.

Methods:

Cross-sectional historical cohort study performed by analysis of epidemiological data of the campaign "Abra a Boca para a Saúde" collected in the years from 2008 to 2013.

Results:

In the years analyzed, 11,965 people were treated and 859 lesions were diagnosed, all benign. There was a female predominance (52.7%), with mean age of 44 years (±15.4 years); 26% were smokers and 29% reported alcohol consumption. It is known that the group at highest risk to develop oral cancer is 60to 70-year-old men, who are alcoholic smokers.

Conclusion:

The population that seeks preventive campaigns is not the main risk group for the disease. This fact explains the low number of lesions and the lack of cancer detection.

Mouth neoplasms; Head and neck neoplasms; Health promotion; Epidemiology and biostatistics


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