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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42759. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042759. Epub 2012 Aug 13.

Association of betel nut with carcinogenesis: revisit with a clinical perspective.

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  • 1Radiation and Molecular Biology Unit, Department of Biochemistry, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya, India. rnsharan@nehu.ac.in

Abstract

Betel nut (BN), betel quid (BQ) and products derived from them are widely used as a socially endorsed masticatory product. The addictive nature of BN/BQ has resulted in its widespread usage making it the fourth most abused substance by humans. Progressively, several additives, including chewing tobacco, got added to simple BN preparations. This addictive practice has been shown to have strong etiological correlation with human susceptibility to cancer, particularly oral and oropharyngeal cancers.The PUBMED database was searched to retrieve all relevant published studies in English on BN and BQ, and its association with oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Only complete studies directly dealing with BN/BQ induced carcinogenesis using statistically valid and acceptable sample size were analyzed. Additional relevant information available from other sources was also considered.This systematic review attempts to put in perspective the consequences of this widespread habit of BN/BQ mastication, practiced by approximately 10% of the world population, on oral cancer with a clinical perspective. BN/BQ mastication seems to be significantly associated with susceptibility to oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Addition of tobacco to BN has been found to only marginally increase the cancer risk. Despite the widespread usage of BN/BQ and its strong association with human susceptibility to cancer, no serious strategy seems to exist to control this habit. The review, therefore, also looks at various preventive efforts being made by governments and highlights the multifaceted intervention strategies required to mitigate and/or control the habit of BN/BQ mastication.

PMID:
22912735
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3418282
Free PMC Article
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