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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 349-353
Utilizing dental colleges for the eradication of oral cancer in India

Department of Community Dentistry, Mar Baselios Dental College, Kothamangalam, Ernakulam District, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Jacob Kuruvilla
Department of Community Dentistry, Mar Baselios Dental College, Kothamangalam, Ernakulam District, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.44541

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Dental education in India has grown in such a way that it ranks first in the world in having the highest number of dental schools. There are 240 dental schools all over the country. Paradoxically, even with this large number of dentists and dental institutions, India contributes to the highest number of incident cases of oral cancer. In India, oral cancer burden approximates to 20-30% of all cancers. The plausible reason for this high incidence of oral cancer could be expounded on the fact that there exists a high usage of tobacco within the country. The evidence for the high prevalence of using chewable tobacco products, especially in the youth, was recently reported in the Global Youth Tobacco Survey. This increasing usage of chewing tobacco and related products will further accrue to the mortality and morbidity figures in the near future. To effectuate a breakthrough in the existing situation, the work force of dental schools could be capitalized on. The aim of this article is to present the burden of oral cancer in the country and identify trends in the prevalence of tobacco usage, which if continues could alert an epidemic of oral cancer in the near future; and how dental schools in the country can be utilized for preventing this upcoming epidemic.

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