Oral cancer in India continues in epidemic proportions: evidence base and policy initiatives

Gupta, Bhawna, Ariyawardana, Anura, and Johnson, Newell W. (2013) Oral cancer in India continues in epidemic proportions: evidence base and policy initiatives. International Dental Journal, 63 (1). pp. 12-25.

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Abstract

Objectives: India has the highest number of cases of oral cancer in the world and this is increasing. This burden is not fully appreciated even within India, despite the high incidence and poor survival associated with this disease. Because the aetiology of oral cancer is predominantly tobacco-related, the immense public health challenge can be meliorated through habit intervention.

Methods: We reviewed current rates of incidence, mortality and survival, and investigated the determinants of disease and current prevention strategies.

Results: In addition to tobacco smoking and the myriad other forms of tobacco use prevalent in India, risk factors include areca nut consumption, alcohol consumption, human papillomavirus, increasing age, male gender and socioeconomic factors. Although India has world-leading cancer treatment centres, access to these is limited. Further, the focus of health care services remains clinical and is either curative or palliative.

Conclusions: Although the efforts of agencies such as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Indian Dental Association are laudable, enhanced strategies should be based on common risk factors, focusing on primary prevention, health education, early detection and the earliest possible therapeutic intervention. A multi-agency approach is required.

Item ID: 28348
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1875-595X
Keywords: oral cancer, epidemiology, risk factors, prevention, policy, tobacco, alcohol, diet, HPV
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2013 05:32
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1105 Dentistry > 110599 Dentistry not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920402 Dental Health @ 50%
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