OBJECTIVES: The study aims to examine whether a higher proportion of current and former smokers reported having an oral cancer screening (OCS) exam in the past year compared with never smokers in Maryland between 2002 and 2008.
METHODS: Secondary analysis of the Maryland Cancer Surveys (conducted in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008), population-based, random-digit-dial surveys on cancer screening among adults age 40 years and older. Of 20,197 individuals who responded to the surveys, 19,054 answered questions on OCS and smoking. Results are weighted to the Maryland population.
RESULTS: Self-reported OCS in the past year increased from 33 percent in 2002 to 40 percent in 2008. Screening among never and former smokers increased from about 35 percent to 42 percent and from 35 percent to 43 percent, respectively; screening among current smokers remained between 23 percent and 25 percent. In the adjusted analysis, current smokers had decreased odds of screening compared with never smokers; no significant difference was observed between former and never smokers. When the variable dental visit in the last year was included in the adjusted analysis, it became the strongest predictor of OCS.
CONCLUSIONS: Between 2002 and 2008, self-reported OCS in the last year increased among former and never smokers, but remained unchanged for current smokers. A visit to a dental professional attenuated the difference in OCS between current and never smokers. Dental visit in the last year was the strongest predictor of OCS.