There is currently no significant data on screening for oral cancer or Oral Potentially Malignant Disorder (OPMD) in Indonesia. Furthermore, according to Professor Cheong in 2017, in her paper (ORAL CANCER IN SEA), Indonesia has an active cancer registry but there aren’t any accessible reports online and there isn’t any data which can be recorded compared to other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, which all have.
Dr. Elizabeth that has been conducting research since 2015, stated that certain risk factors can result in oral cancer. Firstly, tobacco smoking. According to the Indonesian Health Department, Indonesians have been reported to have over 90 million smokers, regardless of whether they are active or passive.
Second, betel quid chewing, or menyirih, as it is known locally, These habits have become a habit for many Indonesians and have passed through generations. This betel quid chewing can be found in many islands, such as West Papua, Maluku, Ternate, Tidore, South Sulawesi, Makassar, Kalimantan, and North Sumatra.
The third is those who drink alcohol. Even though alcohol isn’t as popular in Indonesia due to religious restrictions, it can be surprisingly found in suburban areas with their homemade alcohol, which can go as high as 70% alcohol.
However, with the habits that are mentioned earlier in this article, oral cancer hasn’t been a concentrated field when it comes to how citizens are aware of the disease and how possible that oral cancer could get. Half of the patients with oral cancer experience diagnostic delays, and over 50% of them seek treatment at an advanced stage of the disease.The prevalence of this phenomenon is due to the lack of awareness of the term “oral cancer” in Indonesian society. This is also due to the weak recording cases.
Furthermore, health professionals, in this case, dentists, do not instinctively perform an oral cancer screening where these elements play a pivotal role in recognizing symptoms of oral cancer that could lead to the prognosis of the treatment.
Lastly, this is also due to a lack of government attention to oral cancer either towards a concentrated program or research, which was the case in the big screening data of all patients in Indonesia. In conclusion, oral cancer is a highly dangerous disease that can be contaminated and spread among citizens. Oral cancer needs to be treated accordingly and thoroughly. The multi-vectored study aimed to gain pivotal information about OPMD/OC and associated risk factors in Indonesia.