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Nutr Cancer. 1993;20(1):61-70.

Oral and pharyngeal cancer, diet, smoking, alcohol, and serum vitamin A and beta-carotene levels: a case-control study in men.

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  • 1University of Melbourne, Australia.


A case-control study was conducted in Melbourne, Australia. Forty-one men with histologically confirmed squamous cell oral or pharyngeal cancer were compared with 398 male community controls. A statistically significant increase in risk was found for alcohol (ethanol) consumption and for smoking, and there was a synergistic effect for these two exposures. Statistically significant protection was noted with increasing intake of dietary vitamin C, dietary beta-carotene, fruit, vegetables, and dietary fiber. The mean serum levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A were statistically significantly lower when the cases were compared with another set of 88 male controls of a similar age who were hospitalized for minor surgical operations. This study confirms a causal effect of smoking and alcohol and a protective role for a high dietary intake of fruit, vegetables, cereals, and, particularly, beta-carotene- and vitamin C-containing foods.

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