Author(s): Muttagi SS, Chaturvedi P, Gaikwad R, Singh B, Pawar P
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is an important public health problem in India. Several risk factors such as tobacco, human papilloma virus, alcohol, areca nut usage have been extensively studied as causative agents. Though Areca nut chewing is known cause of oral cancer, its association with hypopharynx cancer has not been previously reported. Since areca nut is mostly consumed along with tobacco, it is uncommon to find patients who consume the areca nut alone. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a prospective case series of ten women who presented to us with HNSCC with history of chewing of areca nut alone for several years. We have excluded all those cases where areca nut was consumed along with tobacco in any form. The data were prospectively collected with regard to clinical parameters, duration and frequency of areca nut usage, the socio-economic status and education level. RESULTS: All ten females had varying degree of submucous fibrosis and coexisting squamous cell carcinoma either in the oral cavity or hypopharynx. Submucous fibrosis was characterized by burning mouth, unhealthy oral mucosa, buried third molars, trismus, poor oral hygiene, etc. The disease presented in an advanced stage in majority of the cases. All patients were unaware of areca nut's deleterious effects. CONCLUSION: Areca nut chewing is an important risk factor for HNSCC in females. Despite plethora of information, little importance is given to areca nut control in cancer prevention campaigns in India.
This article was published in Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology