1. To assess the prevalence of head and neck cancers among the Malayali tribes in the Yelagiri hills, Tamil nadu, India. 2. To assess the association of tobacco use with head and neck cancers among the Malayali tribes, Yelagiri Hills, Tamil Nadu, India.
A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted to assess tobacco use and head and neck cancer prevalenceamong 660 Malayali tribes in the Yelagiri Hills. Inhabitants of the villages aged 18 to 75 years who were residing for more than 15years were included. All the examinations were per- formed by a single examiner. Data was collected using a survey proforma which comprised of a questionnaire and WHO Oral Health Surveys – Basic Methods Proforma (1997). The collected data was subjected to statistical analysis.
Results showed that among 660 study population, 57.7% had no formal education, 64.5% had indigenous brushing habits. A very high prevalence of periodontal disease was observed in this population. 78% had the habit of tobacco, of which 47% were males and 31% were females. The percentage of oral mucosal lesions observed were as follows: 19% leukoplakia, 39% ulceration and 6% malignant tumor. 36% of the study populations had other abnormal conditions like candidiasis and OSMF. Prevalence of oral mucosal lesions in the study population was due to tobacco usage and alcohol consumption and lack of awareness regarding the deleterious effects of the products used.
The oral health status of Malayali tribes was poor with high prevalence of periodontal disease and dental caries. Oral cancer and cancerous lesions were at a very high percentage. Regular oral examination by dental professionals, dental health education and motivation to maintain oral hygiene should be insisted to improve the oral health status of this community. Recommendations: 1. Periodic oral examination by dental professionals may help to control oral disease among these Malayali tribes. 2. Further studies may throw more light in this field to gain a more detailed understanding of oral health needs of Malayali tribes of Yelagiri hills.
Clinical trial identification
This is an epidemiological survey to throw more light on the carcinoma awarness and prevalence among the general public, specially among the tribal population.
Prevalence of oral mucosal lesions and cancer in the study population was due to tobacco usage and alcohol consumption and lack of awareness regarding the deleterious effects of the products used.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.