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Module 2:. Risk Factors and Prevention. Tobacco use Alcohol use Age over 40. Major Risk Factors for Oral Cancer are:. Additional Risk Factors Linked To Oral Cancer Include:. Exposure to UV radiation Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Nutritional deficiencies Oral lichen planus

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Module 2

Module 2:

Risk Factors and Prevention

Major risk factors for oral cancer are

Tobacco use

Alcohol use

Age over 40

Major Risk Factors for Oral Cancer are:

Additional risk factors linked to oral cancer include
Additional Risk Factors Linked To Oral Cancer Include:

  • Exposure to UV radiation

  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

  • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Oral lichen planus

  • Immuno-supression

  • Syphilis

  • Marijuana use

  • Chronic irritation

  • Chronic candidiasis

Tobacco use
Tobacco Use

  • The risk of oral cancer increases with the

    • amount of tobacco used and the

    • duration of the habit.

  • All tobacco types are associated with oral

    cancer, for example:

    -cigarettes -cigars -pipes

    -quid -snuff -chew

Tobacco risks
Tobacco Risks

  • 90% of patients with oral cancer use tobacco

  • Smokers have 6 times greater risk of developing oral cancer than nonsmokers.

  • Tobacco users who regularly use alcohol are at greatest risk

Tobacco and cancer recurrence
Tobacco and Cancer Recurrence

According to the ACS (2004):

  • 37% of patients who smoke after a first oral cancer will develop another in the oropharyngeal area.

  • Chances are that only 6% of these patients will develop another cancer if they stop smoking

  • Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Toll Free Tobacco Quit Line is 1-866-QUIT-YES or 1-800-784-8937

Statistics of the adult population who smoke
Statistics Of The Adult Population Who Smoke

  • The percentage of women who smoke has increased 300% in the last 50 years.

  • Male to female ratio in 1950 was 6 to 1; today the ratio is 2 to 1.

Current cigarette smoking prevalence by gender and race ethnicity high school students us 1991 2001
Current* Cigarette Smoking Prevalence (%), by Gender and Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

*Smoked cigarettes on one or more of the 30 days preceding the survey.Source: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, National Center for

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002.

Risks from smokeless tobacco
Risks From Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001Smokeless Tobacco

  • Long term snuff users face 50 times

    the risk ofcheek and gum cancer.

  • ¾ of the daily users of moist snuff and chewing tobacco have non-cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions in the mouth.

  • Smokeless tobacco (8-10 times a day) are exposed to the same nicotine as 30-40 cigarettes a day (ACS, 2004)

Cigars not a safer alternative
Cigars Not A Safer Alternative Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

  • Cigar smoking has increased among young and middle-aged white men (18-44) (higher than average incomes and education.)

  • CDC reports cigar use among adolescents is higher than smokeless tobacco.

  • Risk of laryngeal, oral or esophageal cancer is 4-10 times higher than non smokers.

  • Cigar smokers who inhale deeply are 6 times more likely to die from oral cancer and 39 times more likely to die from laryngeal cancer (ACS, 2004).

Alcohol and oral cancer
Alcohol And Oral Cancer Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

  • 75 – 80% of all patients with oral cancer drink alcohol frequently

  • Alcohol may act as a solvent and allow carcinogens from tobacco to more easily enter oral tissues

  • Alcohol produces acetaldehyde as a by-product, which is an animal carcinogen (NIDCR, 2004)

  • A combination of both alcohol and tobacco provides the greatest risk of oral cancer.

Tobacco and alcohol deadly combination
Tobacco And Alcohol: Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001Deadly Combination

  • It is estimated that tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking combined account for approximately ¾ of all oral and pharyngeal cancers in the U.S.(ACS, 2004)

Age and oral cancer
Age And Oral Cancer Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

  • 95%of oral cancers occur in individuals over age 40, and the average age of diagnosis is in the 60s

  • Because 1/3 of the U.S. population is now over age 45, oral cancer will be a significant problem in upcoming years

  • Changesin biochemical and biophysical processing occur in aging cells

  • Chemicals, viruses, hormones, nutrients, and physical irritants further affect aging cells, and may contribute to the development of oral cancer

Silverman, 1999

Race and genetics
Race And Genetics Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

  • Link unclear

  • African-Americans have higher rates than other groups

  • Genetic factors may be at work

  • Differences in lifestyles and habits also have an impact

  • Differences in

    • access to care,

    • tendency to seek medical and dental care, and

    • education levels most likely contribute to higher rates of later diagnosis of oral cancer (Silverman, 1999)

  • Mutation of the p53 gene under investigation (damage to cell’s DNA, growth and division)

  • Gender and oral cancer
    Gender And Oral Cancer Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Oral cancer occurs more than twice as often in males

    • The ratio of male to female cases was 6:1 in 1950; today is about 2:1

    • One reason for the reduced ratio is the enormous increase during the past 50 years in females who smoke

    Gender and oral cancer1
    Gender And Oral Cancer Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • The lifespan of women is longer and may contribute to the increase in oral cancer among women

    • The number of women over age 65 exceeds that of men by nearly half

    Ultraviolet light lip cancer
    Ultraviolet Light Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001& Lip Cancer

    • UV exposure contributes to lip cancer

    • Fair skinned individuals at higher risk

    • 30% of lip cancers occur in those with prolonged exposure to sunlight

    • Lip cancer decreasing due to lip balm w/ sun screen

    • Lip cancer is also seen in pipe smokers at the site where the pipe stem is held

    • Lip cancers readily seen

    • More likely to be diagnosed at earlier, treatable stage

    Diet and oral cancer
    Diet And Oral Cancer Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Nutritional deficiencies implicated as risk factor

    • Dietlow in fruits & vegetables implicated in

      cancers of mouth, larynx, and esophagus

    • Diet low in vitamin A has been linked to oral cancer in some studies

    • Iron deficiency associated with Plummer-Vinson syndrome causes an elevated risk for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, oropharynx and posterior mouth (Regezi & Scuiba, 1999).

    Viruses Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Human papilloma virus (HPV) and herpes simplex (HSV) may play a role in oral cancer development

    • 2/3rds of oral cancers have HPV DNA in their cells

    • DNA from Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and HVP detected in oral cancer biopsies (NIDCR, 2004)

    • Viruses contribute to the oral cancer transformation in the presence of other contributing factors

    Oral lichen planus
    Oral Lichen Planus Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Wickham striae, or interconnecting white lines, are common in reticular lichen planus.

    • Lesions are usually on the buccal mucosa, but the tongue and gingiva may also be affected.

    • Lesions may be erosive with pseudomembrane-covered ulcerations and erythema.

    Oral lichen planus1
    Oral Lichen Planus Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Findings from various studies indicate a risk of malignancy, particularly in the erythematous areas of the erosive form.

    • Lichen planus is not presently classified as precancerous, but further definitive studies may prove otherwise.

    • A close examination of Lichen planus lesions in patients with the disease is prudent.

    Immunosupression Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Persons with AIDS and those undergoing immuno-supression for organ or bone marrow transplantation may be at increased risk for various oral, head, and neck malignancies (Neville, et al. 1995)

    • AIDS patients usually develop Kaposi sarcoma and lymphoma, rather than squamous cell carcinoma (Sapp, Eversole, and Wysocki, 1997)

    Chronic irritation
    Chronic Irritation Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Irritation may be caused by ill-fitting dentures and broken teeth or fillings

    • Chronic irritation does not initiate oral cancer, but it is possible it may hastens its progress

    • The debate as to chronic irritation as a risk factor is ongoing

    Candidiasis Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Chronic candidiasis has been implicated as a risk factor in oral cancer.

    • Certain strains of Candida Albicans produce nitrosomines, which are carcinogenic.

    • Definitive studies have not proven candidiasis infection to be a causative agent, but it may have the potential to promote the development of oral cancer.

    • Candidiasis may be superimposed upon a preexisting leukoplakia.

    Module 2

    Relationship Between Cell Events and Lesion Appearance Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    DNA Adducts

    Environmental Factors

    Virus Diet


    DNA Damage

    DNA Repair

    DNA Content

    Cell Growth




    Erythroplakia [RedLesions]


    Oral Carcinoma

    Module 2

    • State of Prevention Science Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Discontinue smoking and alcohol consumption (health professional/patient)

    • Head and neck examination (health professional)

    • Medical history (health professional)

    • Improve diet: fruits and vegetables (health professional/patient)

    Module 2

    Module 2

    Discontinuing Smoking and Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001


    • Tobacco Control-

      • counseling

      • behavior modification

      • (dentist/patient/specialist)

    • Referral to other health practitioners-

      • Oral Medicine

      • Oral Maxillofacial Pathology

    • Diet-

      • Nutritional counseling

    Oral cancer examinations
    Oral Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001Cancer Examinations

    • Obtain annual oral cancer examinations after age 40

    • Ask medical and dental providers for an annual examination

    Tobacco Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Tobacco cessation should be recommended to all patients who use tobacco products.

    • The accompanying Tobacco Control Program will provide you with tobacco cessation techniques to use with your patients.

    Alcohol Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • People who drink alcohol and don’t use tobacco are at a greater risk for oral cancer, but the combination of the two is most deadly.

    • Most oral cancers could be prevented if people quit using tobacco in any form and quit heavy drinking.

    • Quitting tobacco and limiting alcohol use sharply reduces any risk of oral cancer, even after many years of use.

    Nutrition Race/Ethnicity, High School Students, US, 1991-2001

    • Consume a diet high in fiber

    • Consume enough folic acid, vitamins and minerals

    • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily

    • Provide nutritional supplements for individuals unable to intake adequate quantities of food

    Module 2

    Alternative Cancer Treatments for Oral Cancer Prevention and Treatment

    • Retinoids have been used to:

    • Prevent premalignant oral lesions

    • Reduce the growth of established oral carcinoma

    • Reduce formation of second primary oral cancer

    Module 2

    • Vitamin E has been shown to: Treatment

      • prevent oral premalignant lesions

      • enhance the anti-oral tumor capacity of chemotherapy and other agents

      • block the cancer formation activity of tobacco carcinogens

    • Vitamin E and PAH both form complexes which modify Phase I and II enzyme genes expression and expression of endocrine factors

    DNA Damage Decreased

    DNA Repair Increased then Decreased

    DNA Content Decreased

    Apoptosis Increased

    Fewer Smaller

    Oral Tumors

    Module 2

    Green Tea Effect on Smokers Compared to Non-Smokers Treatment

    Molecular and cellular effects of green tea on oral cells from smokers: A pilot study.

    Schwartz JL, Vikki B, Larios E, and Chung FL.

    Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.In Press, 2004.

    Module 2

    Background For TreatmentGreenTea Study

    • 80 articles published showing green tea offers protection against tumorigenesis including initiation, promotion and progression (skin, lung, liver, mammary, colon).

    • Green tea contains-antioxidant, ”polyphenolics” (e.g., epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)).

    • Studies in animals and cells point to a mechanism that involves p53 induction of apoptosis.

    • Delivery of tea polyphenols through a drink, leaves or extract has suggested possible delivery systems to reduce risk for oral cancer formation

    Module 2

    B[a]P-N Treatment2-dG Adducts



    Module 2

    Cyclin D1 Treatment


    Cell Cycle and Apoptosis Markers

    DNA (aneuploid)Content


    Tumor Suppressor

    DNA Content

    Module 2

    Green Tea Study TreatmentSummary

    • Oral cytology in conjunction with “chemoprevention” agents can be used to monitor specific molecular events on a continuous basis.

    • Green tea polyphenols in some smokers can reverse the effects of exposure to tobacco smoke

    • (e.g., cell proliferation is slowed and increased apoptosis is noted).

    Limit sun exposure
    Limit Sun Exposure Treatment

    • To help prevent lip cancer:

      • Use lip balm containing sun screen

      • Use wide-brimmed hats

      • Avoid outdoor activities in midday when ultraviolet exposure is at its peak

    Report these signs or symptoms to doctor or dentist
    Report These Signs or TreatmentSymptoms to Doctor or Dentist:

    • A sore or area in the mouth that does not heal after 2 weeks

    • Persistent pain in the mouth

    • Persistent lump or thickening in the cheek

    • Sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat

    • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

    • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue

    • Voice changes

    Additional signs and symptoms
    Additional Signs and Symptoms: Treatment

    • Numbness in the tongue or other mouth area

    • Swelling in the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable

    • Loosening of the teeth or pain around the teeth or jaw

    • Lump or mass in the neck

    • Weight loss (unexplained)

    • Persistent bad breath

    Module 2

    Role for the Health Professional Treatment

    • Screen patients at risk

    • Provide dental care to improve response to cancer treatment

    • Treat oral complications

    • Provide referral to other specialists

    Module 2

    Prevention A Key Role for the Treatment

    Health Professional

    • Health professionals will use oral cells to

      • Screen for an array of genetic and molecular disorders

      • Assess prevention of tobacco related cancers by various agents

      • Evaluate environmental carcinogens

    Summary Treatment

    • Major risk factors are tobacco and alcohol

    • Sun is a major risk factor for lip cancer

    • Other factors contribute to a lesser extent, but studies are ongoing

    • Prevention includes controlling tobacco and alcohol use, UV exposure, nutrition, and annual oral cancer exams

    • Awareness of the common signs and symptoms is important for everyone