Monthly Archives: April 2010

Clinical significance of phosphatidyl inositol synthase overexpression in oral cancer

Authors: Jatinder Kaur et al.

We reported increased levels of Phosphatidyl Inositol synthase (PI synthase), (enzyme that catalyses phosphatidyl inositol (PI) synthesis-implicated in intracellular signaling and regulation of cell growth) in smokeless tobacco (ST) exposed oral cell cultures by differential display. This study determined the clinical significance of PI synthase overexpression in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and premalignant lesions (leukoplakia), and identified the downstream signaling proteins in PI synthase pathway that are perturbed by smokeless tobacco (ST) exposure.

Tissue microarray (TMA) Immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, Confocal laser scan microscopy, RT-PCR were performed to define the expression of PI synthase in clinical samples and in oral cell culture systems.

Significant increase in PI synthase immunoreactivity was observed in premalignant lesions and OSCCs as compared to oral normal tissues (p=0.000).

Further, PI synthase expression was significantly associated with de-differentiation of OSCCs, (p=0.005) and tobacco consumption (p=0.03, OR=9.0). Exposure of oral cell systems to smokeless tobacco (ST) in vitro confirmed increase in PI synthase, Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and cyclin D1 levels.

Collectively, increased PI synthase expression was found to be an early event in oral cancer and a target for smokeless tobacco.

Authors: Jatinder Kaur, Meenakshi Sawhney, Siddartha Datta, GuptaNootan, Shukla, Anurag, Srivastava, Ranju Ralhan

Source: BMC Cancer 2010, 10:168

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Smokeless tobacco risks ‘overblown’?

Author: staff

The Wall Street Journal “Numbers Guy” blog said that while smokeless tobacco products remain far less popular than cigarettes in the United States, a collection of products that deliver nicotine without smoke—including dip, chew, snuff and newer items that look more like chewing gum—have sparked a heated debate about health risks.

Opponents of these products have presented numbers that suggest smokeless tobacco is an enormous public-health threat akin to cigarettes, while supporters, including some scientists, suggest smokeless items could offer a solution to smoking’s toll on public health. Both claims are based on misinterpretations of the data, said the report.

Critics of smokeless tobacco have spoken out recently about elevated risks of oral cancer and dangers these items pose to children who accidentally ingest them. All of these risks appear to be overblown, said the blog, particularly compared with smoking, which is far more likely to kill than smokeless alternatives.

But researchers who recommend these products as alternatives for smokers seeking to quit also are relying on hazy figures, the report added. Much of their evidence comes from Sweden, where use of smokeless products has risen in recent decades as smoking, and lung-cancer rates, have fallen. Many scientists who study tobacco use remain unpersuaded that the drop in cancer rates stemmed from the increase in use of smokeless products.

In pressing the case for more stringent regulation of smokeless tobacco, a National Cancer Institute physician last week testified before Congress that smokeless-tobacco products can multiply users’ risk of oral cancer by up to 50 times. The American Cancer Society followed up with a similar statement. But as Brad Rodu, professor of oncology at the University of Louisville whose research is funded by the tobacco industry, pointed out in a blog post this week, the risk figure is based on a survey of individuals who had used a form of tobacco called dry snuff, which is inhaled through the nose—a product that now is little used.

Peter Shields, deputy director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University, looked at several studies on smokeless tobacco risk and concluded that smokeless tobacco raises the risk of oral cancer by three to 10 times compared with nontobacco users, rather than 50 times, the Journal blog said.

Dr. Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science and trends for the American Cancer Society, said this week that his organization will no longer use the statistic citing a 50-fold increase in risk.

Several recent studies focused on other risks. This week, a study published online by the journal Pediatrics reported that chewable tobacco products were the second-most-common tobacco product accidentally ingested by children, as reported to poison-control centers nationwide. The study echoed fears among health advocates that newer smokeless items including strips and lozenges could be mistaken by children as candy.

But the study didn’t note that smokeless products—categorized as chewing tobacco—caused just three major incidents, which are defined as life-threatening, disabling or disfiguring, and no deaths from 2005 to 2008, said the Journal.

Add up all the risks of smokeless tobacco, say supporters of its role in smoking prevention, and using smokeless products raises the risk of premature death by only 2% of the amount that taking up smoking does, according to the report, citing Joel Nitzkin, chair of the tobacco control task force of the American Association of Public Health Physicians.

Some scientists agree, said the blog. “If nicotine could be provided in a form that is acceptable and effective as a cigarette substitute, millions of lives could be saved,” reported the U.K.’s Royal College of Physicians’ tobacco advisory group in 2007.

If researchers could be assured smokers really would quit, they would get behind it. “If we can get everybody to switch to smokeless, great,” Gregory Connolly, a professor at Harvard University’s school of public health, told the newspaper. “That would be wonderful.”

But he and others doubt that will happen. They point to surveys showing that smoking rates are higher among smokeless-tobacco users than among the rest of the population.

Much of the available data on smokeless tobacco comes from Sweden. There, men gradually have cut down on smoking and increased their use of snus, a form of moist snuff that doesn’t require spitting, in a shift that began in the 1970s. Lung-cancer deaths among Swedish men peaked in 1978; since then, the death rate has declined to the lowest in the European Union.

This is the major basis for claims that smokeless tobacco can have a massive public-health benefit. But even believers acknowledge they are making some assumptions beyond what can be proven. “I would be just as interested as you in any study that directly shows that snus use is a cause of decline in smoking rates,” Lars Ramstrom, director of the Institute for Tobacco Studies in Stockholm, told the paper. “But I do not have a real hope of ever finding such a study.”

The experience of another effort to induce American smokers to switch clouds the picture for Terry Pechacek, associate director for science in the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s office on smoking and health. He recalled that many smokers switched to low-tar cigarettes beginning in the 1960s, under the mistaken belief they were safer. “We need to be careful not to repeat this experience,” he told the Journal. Public-health officials, he added, are reluctant to advocate any form of tobacco use.

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Robotic tongue cancer surgery-Mayo Clinic

Fighting cancer is not easy. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can be very hard on your body. Take head and neck cancers, for example. These tumors are often hard to reach. Doctors have to cut through bones such as your jaw to reach them. Now, doctors at Mayo Clinic are using robots to access these cancers through your mouth, leaving face bones intact.

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Is a tobacco company using packaging to target children?

Author: Sterling Anthony

Allegations are that recent product launches by R.J. Reynolds encourage nicotine consumption by children and that that’s the company’s strategy. In particular, it’s alleged that packaging is a core component of that strategy. It’s not the first time that R.J. Reynolds has been accused of child exploitation. Remember Joe Camel? But, the more recent allegations are not a case of Joe Camel redux; this time, they address both physical components of packaging—graphics and structure.

Of no surprise is that R.J. Reynolds roundly denies the allegations. It is not the objective of this article to judge the validity of the allegations but rather to examine them for lessons and insights. Consumer packaged goods companies (CPGC’s) outside of the tobacco industry that view themselves insulated from the controversy are mistaken. There can be consequences that can impact CPGC’s, in general. That argument will be developed subsequently, but first, some background.

Going up in smokeless
Camel Snus (the Swedish word for snuff rhymes with noose) is pasteurized tobacco in small, porous pouches, packaged 15 to a metal box. A pouch is placed inside the mouth, under the upper lip; but, while being smokeless like snuff, Snus does not necessitate spitting. The tobacco juice is swallowed, facilitated by the product’s low-moisture and low-salt contents which trigger less saliva and by a variety of “flavors.”

Snus would seem to address at least two adult groups. One is users of conventional snuff, who want to indulge their desire for nicotine discreetly, without the tell-tales of spitting and discolored teeth. The other is smokers who want their nicotine while in locations where smoking is banned.

Melts in your mouth
This new category of dissolvable tobacco consists of a trio of Camel brand products. They are made from finely- ground tobacco, flavored, and formed into various shapes. Each is a nicotine-delivery system, differing in the amount of time required to dissolve in the mouth.

Camel Orbs are mint-size pellets. Camel Strips, true to the name, are film-like strips, to be placed on the tongue. Camel Sticks are twisted, but otherwise are in the shape and size of toothpicks. Each product is packaged in a pocket-size, opaque plastic dispenser. The products are substitutes for cigarettes, and ostensibly, target present-day adult smokers.

So where’s the child’s play?
R.J. Reynolds likely knew that defending the launches as targeted at adults would not shield the company from criticism; such would be a naïve expectation when tobacco and nicotine are involved. Predictably, Snus has come under fire as a possible cause of mouth cancer (in fact, the product carries such a warning) and Orbs, Strips, and Sticks have drawn fire as possible substitute addictions. Theoretically and ideally, those criticisms are meant to protect adults, who should be the sole users; children should not be part of the equation. What, then, is the rationale upon which critics claim that the products also target children? In a word, packaging.

Each product sports brightly-colored packaging, hues that appeal to youngsters, so say the critics. The colors and the other graphic elements convey an image that is “fun” and “cool.” The argument continues that, were the products exclusively geared to adults, the packaging would have a different look.

Structurally, the packaging is not only compact, but sleek, even incorporating an ergonomic indentation that makes dispensing easier. These, allegedly, are features that also make it easier for, say, teens—known for sneaking a smoke—to use the products, openly. In all, graphics and structure coordinate, such that an unsuspecting adult, at a distance or by casual glance, might mistake the packaging as containing mints, candy, gum, etc. A similar case of mistaken identity might be committed by a hurried, inattentive retail check-out clerk. Later, with pouch, pellet, strip, or stick inside the mouth, the rebellious youngster is almost beyond detection.

Or, maybe not, since behavior might be a giveaway. There is no one-to-one equivalence between the nicotine delivered by a cigarette and what’s delivered by the discussed products; actually, the latter are said to be more potent. Foreseeably, a child might take more than one Orb or Strip at a time, or use Snus or Sticks one after the other, resulting in sickness from the ingestion of nicotine.

Doing what comes naturally
The allegations against the packaging of the Camel products are serious and by no means should be dismissed, especially since they come from such agenda-less parties as parents and healthcare professionals. That notwithstanding, the allegations are an acknowledgement of the power of packaging, the abilities to: project an aura; be the bases for new product forms; and, overall, to make the product desirable. It’s power, and with it comes the responsibility of exercising it reputably, because of another “p”—perception.

To the degree that packaging is perceived as an exploitive tool, any resulting distrust is not necessarily restricted to the involved industry, category, or brand. An analogy can be made of a consumer who experiences a shady salesman (don’t forget that packaging is often referred to as the “silent salesman”) and thereafter is skeptical of all in the profession. A negative perception—anecdotal though it may be—can render a consumer unreceptive to accounts about packaging’s many contributions to our quality-of-life.

So it is that whenever one CPGC becomes embroiled in controversy that casts aspersions on packaging, all other CPGC’s have an incentive to hope that the embattled company is able to tell its side honestly and convincingly. Some critics can’t be won over, but even within those ranks are those who will acknowledge a good-faith effort.

There’s a catch-22 to being in the tobacco industry: a company has to pursue growth, in part through new products (as is the case in other industries); yet the nature of its products assures an awaiting army of critics. Additionally, the most that the company will receive from other industries is moral support as opposed to the public variety. From an objective perspective, the Camel packaging embodies convenience, utility, and communication cues, in ways that expand the category and that provide new use experiences. If the packaging did the same in another industry, it would receive praise and recognition.

Your reputation precedes you
Regardless of its industry, however, a CPGC would benefit from forethought, internally playing devil’s advocate in brainstorming the ways that its packaging can be misunderstood or negatively interpreted. A good dose of package design research could prove valuable, too. Then would be the time to design out the packaging’s vulnerable traits, assuming it can be done without unacceptable sacrifice of function. If some of those traits must be retained, the company should devise a plan to explain and justify them and should have that plan at the ready, in anticipation of criticism.

Packaging already has a full plate with the challenges of sustainability and the oh-so-willingness of some to make packaging a convenient scapegoat. Sustainability is about the survival of the planet and the only instinct within a society that rivals self-preservation is protection of the young. Packaging doesn’t need additional hits to its reputation, least of all that of a tool for child exploitation.

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Faltering cancer trials

Author: editorial

The nation’s most important system for judging the clinical effectiveness of cancer treatments is approaching “a state of crisis.” That is the disturbing verdict of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences to review the performance of clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

Unless the shortcomings are remedied, some of President Obama’s ambitious health care reforms will be jeopardized and his audacious goal of finding “a cure for cancer in our time” will have almost no chance at all.

The most shocking deficiency highlighted by the report, issued by the academy’s Institute of Medicine, is that about 40 percent of all advanced clinical trials sponsored by the Cancer Institute are never completed. That is an incredible waste of effort and money, and a huge obstacle at a time when researchers are developing promising new therapies that must be rigorously tested.

These large, government-sponsored studies are supposed to be the gold standard — and very different from the narrow, occasionally biased studies sponsored by manufacturers seeking approval of a new drug.

The government-sponsored trials can be invaluable in comparing one therapy against another (manufacturers rarely want to put their products up against a competitor’s), combinations of therapies, or therapies for rare diseases with little commercial potential.

So it is especially worrying to hear the experts say that the system — run by the Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health — is so mired in cumbersome procedures that it needs to be completely overhauled.

The Cancer Institute funds clinical trials primarily through 10 “cooperative groups” of experts. They generate ideas for testing new therapies and conduct the trials through networks of cancer centers and community oncology practices. More than 25,000 patients, 3,100 institutions and 14,000 patients participate each year.

Yet a series of reviews in recent years found that the testing operation is mired in bureaucracy and poorly coordinated. A typical trial must navigate past dozens of overlapping reviews by different boards and agencies that must approve the original concept for the trial and then the protocol that will govern how it is conducted before the investigators can start enrolling any patients.

The average time between developing the concept for a study and getting it started is about 2.5 years. The longer a study takes to get started, the more likely it is to become scientifically out of date, and the less likely it is that doctors or patients will want to participate.

Other factors, including failure to pay investigators and their institutions the full costs of a trial, can also impede enrollment. And if not enough patients are enrolled, the study lacks the statistical power to generate meaningful results and cannot be completed.

The Institute of Medicine panel, headed by John Mendelsohn, president of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, offered a range of suggestions for improving the prospects for success.

It called for reducing and consolidating the number of cooperative groups, committees and reviews; increasing the money to support the trials; increasing the academic rewards to encourage researchers to run clinical trials; setting strict deadlines for each step in the process; and prioritizing the studies most likely to be successful. All that should be done even if money has to be transferred from other research activities.

The need for improvement looms especially large now that the Obama administration is pouring substantial sums into “comparative effectiveness research.” That is essential to helping doctors determine which treatments work well and which do not — and holding down the cost of medical care.

More than 11 million Americans are living with cancer or the prospect that cancer may return, and 1.5 million more may get new diagnoses of the disease this year, driving total cancer care costs above $100 billion a year. Nearly one in four Americans are projected to die from cancer. It is vitally important to find the best treatments for them. Repairing the clinical trials system is critical not only for health care reform but for the health of millions of Americans.

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Walk to raise awareness for oral cancer Saturday

Author: Miriam Nareem

Penn Relays won’t be the only on-foot event on campus this weekend. Founded and run by students, the Oral Cancer Awareness Society will be holding their second annual 3.1 mile-long walk on April 24. The walk loops around University City and West Philadelphia.

The event has drawn students from Penn, Temple University and other surrounding universities, as well as community members and cancer survivors. Individuals can register to walk or sponsor another participant. All walker registration fees and the majority of sponsorship money goes to the Oral Cancer Foundation. So far approximately $5,000 has been raised.

The group will be holding free oral cancer screenings at on Locust Walk with faculty from the school. Additionally, the event will be attended by oral cancer survivors themselves who can share their experiences. Last year, the post-walk festivities featured live entertainment from School of Dental Medicine students.

Between classes and extracurriculars, most Penn students do not have time for dental screenings as regularly as they should, Anna Yuan, a Penn Dental student and one of the walk’s organizers wrote in an e-mail.

With a disease like oral cancer, regular visits to the dentist are crucial in detection and diagnosis — the same visits most Penn student’s either don’t have the time or resources to make. “When diagnosed early, oral cancer is highly treatable,” Yuan wrote.

Missing dental appointments is an even bigger issue for international students who don’t have dental insurance in this country. College freshman Humna Bhojani said, “I haven’t been to the dentists since last summer and since I don’t have dental insurance in the USA, I will not be going till next summer, when I go back to Pakistan.”

Even domestic students tend to put off their visits to the dentist for summer or winter breaks. Engineering junior Shabatun Islam, who participated in On-Campus Recruiting this semester, confided, “I found out over winter break that I would need a root canal for my cavity, but I just haven’t had the time to schedule a dentist appointment because of my schedule.”

Skipping dental appointed can be dangerous, however, according to Yuan. “Unfortunately, most cases are discovered at later stages, when survival rates rapidly decrease to 50 percent,” Yuan wrote. “This trend of late stage diagnosis can be due to lack of public awareness coupled with the lack of a national program for opportunistic screenings which would yield early discovery by medical and dental professionals.”

According to Yuan, the group hopes the walk will promote awareness about the disease and will initiate a community-wide dialogue about this pressing health issue.

Approximately 35,000 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2010, according to Yuan. Given this surprisingly alarming number of cases, she explained, the group hopes to get people interested and aware of this disease and yield a type of tradition like the breast cancer and HIV walks.

For more information, visit

Evaluation of a low-cost, portable imaging system for early detection of oral cancer

Author: staff

There is an important global need to improve early detection of oral cancer. Recent reports suggest that optical imaging technologies can aid in the identification of neoplastic lesions in the oral cavity; however, there is little data evaluating the use of optical imaging modalities in resource limited settings where oral cancer impacts patients disproportionately.

In this article, we evaluate a simple, low-cost optical imaging system that is designed for early detection of oral cancer in resource limited settings. We report results of a clinical study conducted at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Mumbai, India using this system as a tool to improve detection of oral cancer and its precursors.

Reflectance images with white light illumination and fluorescence images with 455 nm excitation were obtained from 261 sites in the oral cavity from 76 patients and 90 sites in the oral cavity from 33 normal volunteers.

Quantitative image features were used to develop classification algorithms to identify neoplastic tissue, using clinical diagnosis of expert observers as the gold standard.

Using the ratio of red to green autofluorescence, the algorithm identified tissues judged clinically to be cancer or clinically suspicious for neoplasia with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 87%.

Results suggest that the performance of this simple, objective low-cost system has potential to improve oral screening efforts, especially in low-resource settings.

1. Authors: Mohammed Rahman, Nilesh Ingole, Darren Roblyer, Vanda Stepanek, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ann Gillenwater, Surendra Shastri, Pankaj Chaturvedi
2. Source: Head &Neck Oncology 2010, 2:10

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Poor awareness of head and neck cancer

Author: Kay Kinsella

Eighty-three per cent of those surveyed on their knowledge of head and neck cancer (HNC) have admitted to knowing little or nothing about the disease.

The study of 200 Irish people, published in the Irish Medical Journal, showed the majority (96 per cent) of those surveyed identified smoking as a major risk factor to developing HNC, but few (27 per cent) recognised excessive alcohol consumption as a risk.

Less than 100 (50 per cent) would have concern about persisting hoarseness or a prolonged oral ulcer, despite them being common symptoms of HNC.

HNC is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, with more than half a million new cases diagnosed every year and 200,000 deaths resulting from this cancer annually.

Survival rates of the cancer, however, remain low with 50 per cent of those diagnosed with tongue cancer dying within five years.
Early diagnosis of HNC could boost survival rates up to 70-80 per cent, however, it is reported that 60 per cent of patients diagnosed with HNC are at an advanced stage of the disease.

The study reveals that 98 per cent of the public surveyed desired more information about the disease, however, there is little awareness being raised on the topic among the Irish public. The disease has higher mortality rates than any other form of cancer, including, breast, cervical, and prostate cancer, but these all have higher profiles in the public domain.

1. The study was carried out in the Department of Otolaryngology in Galway University Hospitals.

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Alcohol based mouthwash and oral cancer – too much confusion

Author: Francis Mawanda

(Please note, this post is an editorial opinion not a news article)

If you are like me, you probably always and almost faithfully, include a bottle of mouthwash on your grocery list especially after watching and/or listening to the numerous commercials in the media which claim that you will not only get long lasting fresh breath, but also freedom from the germs that cause plaque and gingivitis. However, many proprietary mouthwashes including my favorite brand contain Alcohol (ethanol) which also gives them the characteristic burn we have to endure, albeit for a few seconds each day, but safe in the knowledge that the product is hard at work killing all the germs that give us bad breath and may cause plaque and gingivitis. But the question I continually ask myself is whether regular or long term use of these products is safe especially after reading the numerous research reports and newspaper articles suggesting a possible link between long term use of alcohol based mouthwashes and oral cancer.

Several research studies have reported finding an association between long term mouthwash use and oral cancer (1, 2, 3). For example, in a study conducted by Wynder and colleagues (1), they found a significant association between mouthwash use and oral cancer. A bigger multi-site study by Guha and colleagues (3) comparing participants who reported having used mouthwash to those who reported never having used mouthwash found that individuals who reported using mouthwash more than twice a day were nearly six times more likely to develop oral squamous cell carcinoma compared to those who reported never having used mouthwash. However, in both these studies, no distinction was made on whether participants used alcohol or non-alcohol based mouthwashes which raises several epidemiological concerns such as specificity, since not all mouthwashes contain the same chemical ingredients

However, several studies have been conducted in which a distinction was made between alcohol containing and non alcohol containing mouthwash use (4, 5, 6). Unfortunately, these studies have produced mixed results. While some studies reported finding a positive association between alcohol containing mouthwash use and oral cancer (4), other studies found no association at all (5, 6). For example, although a 1983 study conducted in the states of California, Atlanta, and New Jersey by Winn and colleagues (4) found an increased risk of oral cancer among users of alcohol containing mouthwash compared to both non-users and users of non-alcohol based mouthwash, a similar study conducted in Puerto Rico found no significant association between the use of alcohol based mouthwash and oral cancer.

To add to the confusion is the fact that reviews of the subject by epidemiologists and other experts have also produced mixed results. While some researchers in their reviews concluded that the results of these studies provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate a link between long term use of alcohol based mouthwash and oral cancer (7, 8), other researchers concluded that the evidence is not sufficient to make the conclusion that there is an association between alcohol based mouthwash use and oral cancer (9,10).

Furthermore, while systematic reviews or meta-analyses can give us a better picture of the association between use of alcohol based mouthwashes and oral cancer because they can generate a pooled risk estimate by aggregating all the findings on the subject, there has only been one meta-analysis on this subject which was conducted by epidemiologists in Europe (10) and concluded that there is no excess risk for oral cancer from use of alcohol or non-alcohol based mouthwash.

From all this confusion, it’s clear that a randomized control trial (RCT) is needed to determine with a higher degree of certainty whether there is a true association between long term use of alcohol based mouthwashes and oral cancer. However a RCT is not feasible in this case simply because it would be unethical to expose individuals to a product that may cause cancer however weak the association maybe. Possible alternatives include quasi-experimental studies, prospective cohort studies or repeated case-control studies which may provide sufficient evidence through consistency. However, results from these alternatives will still face criticism since they do not offer unbiased estimates.

Therefore, until concrete evidence is available, the decisions on whether to use mouthwash or not and whether to use alcohol based or non-alcohol based mouthwashes remains a matter of personal preference and of course cost for some of us.


1. Weaver A, Fleming SM, Smith DB. Mouthwash and oral cancer: carcinogen or coincidence? Journal of Oral Surgery 1979;37:250-3.

2. Wynder E L, Kabat G, Rosenberg S, Levenstein M.Oral cancer and mouthwash use. J National Cancer Institute 1983; 70: 255-260.

3. Guha N, Boffetta P, Wunsch Filho V et al. Oral health and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and oesophagus: results of two multicentric case-control studies. American Journal of Epidemiology 2007; 166: 1159-1173.

4. Winn D M, Blot W J, McLaughlin J K et al. Mouthwash use and oral conditions in the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Cancer Research 1991; 51: 3044-3047.

5. Winn D M, Diehl S R, Brown L M et al. Mouthwash in the etiology of oral cancer in Puerto Rico. Cancer Causes Control 2001; 12: 419-429.

6. Marshberg A, Barsa P, Grossman M L. A study of the relationship between mouthwash use and oral and pharyngeal cancer. Journal of the American Dental Association 1985; 110: 731-734.

7. McCullough M J, Farah C S. The role of alcohol in oral carcinogenesis with particular reference to alcohol-containing mouthwashes. Aust Dent J 2008; 53: 302-305

8. Werner C .W. & Seymour, R. A., Are alcohol containing mouthwashes safe? British Dental Journal 2009; 207: E19

9. La Vecchia C. Mouthwash and oral cancer risk: an update. Oral Oncology 2009; 45: 198-200.

10. Lewis M A O, Murray S. Safety of alcohol-containing mouthwashes. A review of the evidence. Dent Health (London) 2006; 45: 2-4.

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

CDC urges 50-state anti-smoking effort

Source: CNN
Author: Ann Curley

In 2007, the Institute of Medicine, the medical branch of the National Academy of Sciences, released “Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation,” stating a goal of eliminating smoking as a public health problem in the United States. The strategies included strengthening and fully activating tobacco control methods similar to the CDC’s plans, as well as tobacco regulation.

In 2008, the World Health Organization’s MPOWER program outlined additional steps that complemented and reinforced the other agencies’ recommendations.

As an example of the success of these strategies, the CDC cites the state of California, which has one of the oldest comprehensive tobacco control programs. California cut adult smoking rates from 22.7 percent in 1988 to 13.3 percent in 2006. That reduction in smoking accelerated the decline of heart disease deaths and lung cancer incidence in California, compared with the rest of the country.

In 2009, 14 states and the District of Columbia implemented an excise tax on cigarettes. Those state tax hikes followed a 62-cent federal cigarette tax hike instituted by Congress in April 2009.

Twenty-four states and D.C. have comprehensive smoke-free laws. Seven states do not have statewide smoke-free laws of any type: Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

While some progress has been made in getting more states to implement tobacco control measures, the report stresses that much more is still needed.

The CDC’s Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs 2007 noted that states could plan and enact tobacco control programs with a small percentage of tobacco excise tax revenues and funds from a 1998 agreement between states’ attorneys general and the four largest tobacco companies.

The report concludes that putting uniform tobacco control policies in place would dramatically reduce the health and economic burden on states.

“The first step is knowledge, knowing what the issues are,” Frieden said. “We need to act.”

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|