Smoking and drinking linked to throat and stomach cancer

Source: uk.reuters.com
Author: Michael Kahn

Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes appear to increase the risk of certain common throat and stomach cancers, Dutch researchers reported on Monday.

The findings, presented at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Washington, underline other health recommendations for people to follow a healthy lifestyle and drink and smoke only in moderation.

“It appeared that current smokers have the highest risks, and former smokers have an intermediate risk compared with never smokers,” Jessie Steevens, an epidemiologist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, said in a statement.

The incidence of stomach cancer has fallen dramatically in the United States and western Europe over the past 60 years but the disease remains a serious problem in much of the rest of the world, where it is a leading cause of cancer death, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Oesophageal, or throat, cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the inner layer of the oesophagus, the 10-inch-long tube that connects the throat to the stomach.

The researchers followed more than 120,000 Dutch residents for more than two decades to investigate risk factors for oesophageal adenocarcinoma and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma — a type of stomach cancer — as well as oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, which resembles head and neck cancer.

Other studies have linked oesophageal cancer in general to drinking and smoking, but Steevens and colleagues wanted to refine the risk of the different types of the tumours.

They found that for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma — which accounts for about half of throat cancers — people who consumed four glasses of alcohol each day had five times the risk of developing the cancer of non-drinkers.

Smoking was associated with an increased risk of all three cancers with the risks of the more common throat cancer higher than the other two cancers, Steevens said.

“These are the results when no other aspects of smoking were considered, such as the amount of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years a person smoked,” Steevens said.

“When we took into account the smoking duration and frequency, it appeared that the difference in risk between former smokers and current smokers could partly be explained by these other aspects of smoking.”

Reporting by Michael Kahn; editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Tim Pearce

November, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

Younger people suffering from mouth cancer

Source: www.rochdaleonline.co.uk
Author: staff

People in their 20s are being urged to look out for the symptoms of mouth cancer. The disease is usually found in older people who have smoked and drunk alcohol over a long period of time. Now mouth cancer specialists are reporting cases of people in their 20s and 30s with non-healing ulcers, white and red patches or a lump, which are all possible signs and symptoms of the disease.

Mr Andrew Baldwin, a consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon, believes that there is still a lack of awareness about mouth cancer in the general population.

“People who smoke and drink alcohol for a number of years tend to be those who suffer the most from mouth cancer. However, in the last few years we have seen a minority of people in their mid 20’s developing the disease.

There can also be other causes so people who don’t necessarily smoke and drink heavily but have the symptoms should not dismiss mouth cancer.”

Mr Robert Woodwards, a consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon, insists early detection of the disease prevents people from being permanently disfigured.

“Whilst typically associated with smoking and drinking can be related to other causes and the key to a successful outcome for treatment for mouth cancer is to catch the disease when it is early and the lesion is small.

“Smaller mouth cancers are much easier to treat and the results of surgery can be limited so that alteration in a patient’s appearance is not necessarily the result of treatment.”

Emma Riley, oral health practitioner at Pennine Acute Trust, believes Mouth Cancer Action Week, starting on Monday 17 November, can save lives.

“Sadly, we’re seeing a rise in the number of cases of mouth cancer. It’s a familiar story really, unfortunately we’re smoking too much, drinking too much and don’t have the diet we should.”

“Many people simply don’t know the risks of mouth cancer, and we hope that the help Mr Baldwin, Mr Woodwards and their colleague Mr Ewen Thomson are offering during the awareness week will help with that.”

November, 2008|Oral Cancer News|