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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Role of Tobacco in the Etiology of Oral Cancer

Aimen Naqvi Jr., Community Dentistry, Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine, Street 35, House # 180, Khayaban-e-Itehad, Phase 6, DHA, Karachi, Pakistan and Qurat Naqvi Jr., Community Dentistry, Altamash Institue of Dental Medicine, Street 35, House # 180, Khayaban-e-itehad, Phase 6, DHA, Karachi, Pakistan.


On the Indian subcontinent, the use of smokeless tobacco in various forms is very popular. This habit, which usually involves the chewing of a betel quid (combined areca nut, betel leaf, tobacco and slack lime), has led to the development, in a large proportion of users, of a generalized fibrosis of the oral soft tissues, called ‘oral submucous fibrosis'.


A rural community in karachi had been taken for a cross-sectional study.


The condition is found in 4/1,000 adults in rural India, and is caused by the areca nut in the quid. Additionally, it is estimated that as many as 5 million young Indians are suffering from this precancerous condition as a result of the increased popularity of the habit of chewing pan masala

Clinically, mucosal petechiae are seen in more than 10% of cases and most patients complain of a burning sensation, often aggravated by spicy foods. Salivary flow is diminished and blotchy mucosal pigmentation is often seen. More than a fourth of affected persons develop precancerous leukoplakia of one or more oral surfaces. Once present, oral submucous fibrosis does not regress, either spontaneously or with termination of betel quid chewing.

Studies have shown that as many as 10% of OSF patients develop an oral carcinoma. Since the tobacco is the component of the quid most associated with cancer development.

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