Dean: Focus on dental health is important

Mehwish Dean a dental student at the Fiji National University's (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS). Picture: SUPPLIED

MEHWISH Dean, a dental student at the Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) believes oral health is mostly overlooked until there is a need for tooth extraction.

Ms Dean, a final year student said people needed to be aware of the risk factors involved in occurrence of oral squamous cell carcinoma.

She raised this concern after recently conducting a study “Prevalence of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) at Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) Suva Fiji Islands 2011-2015”.

According to a statement from FNU, the research indicated that there were 74 OSCC cases diagnosed during the five-year study period.

The occurrence of OSCC cases over this period was fluctuant with 2013 recording the highest number of cases at 32 per cent.

“During the reported period, more men suffered from this condition with the tongue being the most common oral cancer site followed by the lip and vermillion border,” said Ms Dean in the statement.

Of the 74 cases, there were 53 males diagnosed with OSCC and 21 females.

“Individuals in age group 45 to 55 years were mostly affected with the iTtaukei population recording the highest occurrences (51.35 per cent), followed by Fijians of Indian decent (44.59 per cent) and minority population (4.05 per cent),” Ms Dean said.

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