The aim of this study was to assess head and neck cancer (HNC) knowledge and awareness among dental students and dentists in Makkah City, Saudi Arabia.


A cross-sectional online survey was carried out between October 2022 and February 2023. 310 undergraduate students at the faculty of dentistry, Umm Al-Qura University, as well as general dentists and consultants working either in the University Hospitals, public hospitals, or private clinics in Makkah were included in the study. The survey consisted of 26 questions divided into three sections: demographics, knowledge, practices and attitudes toward HNC early detection and management. Descriptive statistics were presented for the knowledge and attitude and Chi-square test was used to identify correlations, P value ≤0.05 was considered significant.


Out of the 160 completed questionnaires, the majority of the participants were female (63.1%) and undergraduate students (77.5%). Regarding HNC general knowledge, acceptable levels were reported, however, the results showed a significant lack of knowledge concerning oral cancer complications and their association with cancer and cancer therapy. Additionally, there was no significant difference between males and females in the knowledge score (p=0.82) or attitude score regarding oncology patients (p=0.5). There was a significant difference in the overall knowledge between specialists and consultants (p=.0.04) compared to students, and general dentists. Knowledge was found to be directly proportional to individual’s experience.


All participants had good general knowledge of HNC; however, they lacked sufficient knowledge about complications of cancer-associated therapy. HNC educational programs mostly in diagnosis, management, and prevention are required. Furthermore, there is a need to emphasize participation of graduated and practicing dentists of all levels of experience in future studies.

Keywords: Head and neck cancer, Oral cancer, Dental students, Knowledge, Awareness, Cancer therapy.
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