According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 35,310 new cases of oral cancer were expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2008, and an estimated 7,590 people were expected to die of the disease. Statistics over the last decade reveal an increase in incidence and mortality rates for this disease. These statistics should encourage clinicians to improve awareness of and early detection of oral cancer.
Early detection of oral cancer is the responsibility of dental practitioners. Dental hygienists have a unique opportunity to provide oral cancer examinations for their patients. The purpose of this research was to investigate knowledge and practices of dental hygienists regarding oral cancer and explore issues related to early detection and prevention of oral cancer.
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