Prevalence of oral cancer and pre-cancer and associated risk factors among tea estate workers in the central Sri Lanka

Ariyawardana, A., Sitheeque, M.A.M., Ranasinghe, A.W., Perera, I., Tilakaratne, W.M., Amaratunga, E.A.P.D., Yang, Yi-Hsin, and Warnakulasuriya, S. (2007) Prevalence of oral cancer and pre-cancer and associated risk factors among tea estate workers in the central Sri Lanka. Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, 36 (10). pp. 581-587.

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Background:  To screen for oral cancer or not is being debated, but for high-risk populations with minimal access to regular dental care systematic oral examinations could provide some benefit.

Methods:  We undertook oral mucosal examinations of labourers employed in tea estate plantations in Sri Lanka. In a two-stage screening procedure, first by estate medical officers and then by visiting specialists, we examined 12 716 persons at their workplaces achieving a coverage of one-sixth of the total workforce.

Results:  Fourteen oral cancers and 848 subjects with oral pre-cancer (6.7%) were detected giving population prevalences of 46.1 per 1000 for leukoplakia and 16.4 per 1000 for oral submucous fibrosis. Among subjects with any oral mucosal disorder (n = 1159) proportions of current users of betel quid, smokers and alcohol use was recorded at 92%, 31% and 61% respectively. The synergistic effect of these three risk habits on the development of oral leukoplakia was evident in mixed habit groups.

Conclusions:  The prevalence of oral pre-cancer in tea estate labourers was higher than estimates reported in previous studies. In the absence of state-sponsored preventive activities, it is necessary to improve the capacity of individual health practitioners and small medical centres to participate in oral health promotion and oral cancer/pre-cancer screening.

Item ID: 33678
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1600-0714
Keywords: alcohol; betel quid; leukoplakia; oral cancer; oral submucous fibrosis; pre-cancer; screening; tobacco
Funders: Rotary Club International District 1200 (UK), Rotary Club International District 3220 (Sri Lanka)
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2015 02:29
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1105 Dentistry > 110505 Oral Medicine and Pathology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920113 Oro-Dental Disorders @ 100%
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