A Survey of Patients with Oro-Facial tumours in two Tertiary Hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria.
Early detection and promotion of preventive strategies can greatly impact the management of orofacial tumors. Hence the present study was conducted to assess the care the knowledge, attitude and practices of patients attending maxillofacial with oro-facial tumours with the aim of utilizing the information therein for early detection of the disease entities. One hundred and forty two individuals completed a 39 item written questionnaire that focused on socio-demographics, knowledge of oral tumor risk factors, signs and symptoms of disease and care seeking behavior of patients. Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS software, version 19 results were presented as percentages, graphs and tables and chi square was used to compare the relationship between variables (level of significance, p=0.05). The age of the participants ranged from 7 - 62 years with a mean of 34.2 ±12.6) years. Majority (73.9%) of the study participants were in the third to fifth decade and the male female ratio was 1:2.2. The most frequent sites of tumour presentation of were the mandible and maxilla (21.7% each). Seventy five percent of respondents claimed they sought help within 1 month of noticing the lesion, however only 21.7% sought help from a health facility first.Prayers, application of herbal concoctions and making of scarification marks 26.3%, 11.7%, and 11.7%, respectively were the major treatments administered to them. However 89.5% of respondents claimed they would have reported in the hospital earlier if they were better informed, with a majority (91.6%) claiming enlightenment through the mass media would help in disseminating information better. Most respondents (93.7%) also reported they had obstacles when they eventually presented in the hospitals with initial intervention not done in 79% of the subjects after 1 month. The result of this study shows a low percentage of patients in our community present first to hospitals for treatment of oro-facial tumours.It also shows that this finding might not be unrelated to poor awareness of the tumours in our environment.
Keywords: Oro-Facial tumours and help seeking behaviour.