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Cancer. 1992 Sep 1;70(5):1017-23.

Role of areca nut consumption in the cause of oral cancers. A cytogenetic assessment.

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1
Department of Cancer Biology, Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cytogenetic studies, framed to assess the possible genomic damage caused by areca nut consumption (without tobacco and not as a component of betel quid), were performed among areca nut chewers, which included normal people who chew areca nuts, patients with oral submucous fibrosis, and patients with oral cancer, and healthy nonchewing controls.

RESULTS:

The analysis showed statistically significant increases in the frequencies of sister chromatid exchanges and chromosome aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes and the percentage of micronucleated cells in exfoliated cells of buccal mucosa among all three groups of chewers when compared with those of the controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current data, the first of this type among only areca nut chewers, highlight that this popular masticatory is erroneously considered "safe" and that it increases the genomic damage even when chewed without tobacco. The data also signify that, henceforth, in cytogenetic biomonitoring, areca nut consumption also should be considered as one of the confounding factors.

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