GUWAHATI, Jan 18 - A study conducted by researchers and doctors at the Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Guwahati, has shown that consumption of chewable tobacco is the major form of tobacco use amongst patients with upper-aero digestive tract cancers (UADT).
The cancers of the lip, tongue, mouth, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus together constitute UADT cancers.
As per the report of Hospital-based Cancer Registry of BBCI, around 50 per cent and 20 per cent of all cancers are UADT cancer in males and females respectively.
The study was done on 1,965 cancer patients registered at BBCI, of whom 1,464 patients were men and 501 patients were women.
�The habit of chewing tobacco and betelnut is a common practice among the population of the North East and Assam in particular. Chewable tobacco is consumed in the form of gutkha, zarda, khaini, etc. Because of the higher consumption of chewable tobacco in the State, especially among children and teenagers, this will pose a major concern for public health in future,� Dr Amal Chandra Kataki, Director of BBCI, said.
The study has shown that in patients with cancers of the lip and oral cavity, 20 per cent and 22 per cent respectively were seen in patients below 45 years of age. This could be attributed to rampant consumption of chewable tobacco nowadays by the younger generation.
�The study has shown that 88.1 per cent male and 63.2 per cent female patients with UADT cancer were consuming tobacco. Furthermore, it was seen that 82.6 per cent of women affected with UADT cancers were consuming only chewable tobacco; on the other hand, 52.6 per cent of the men affected with UADT cancers were taking both chewable and smoking forms of tobacco. The study showed a higher risk of these cancers in men which was consistent with the high prevalence of tobacco use among males, except for oral cavity cancers, because of high chewable tobacco consumption by women in the study group,� Dr Kataki added.
Dr Manigreeva Krishnatreya from the BBCI, who was the lead author of the study, stated that such type of study provides an indirect evidence of association between tobacco use with cancers. According to Dr Krishnatreya, from the study it can be said that chewable tobacco consumption is the major risk factor for development of cancers of oral cavity in our population.
The study received technical support from the National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research under Indian Council of Medical Research.