Addiction of tobacco chewing and smoking in the patients of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: A descriptive epidemiological study in Pakistan
Objective: The associated risk factors for the majority of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are tobacco and betel nut abuse, while there also seems to be a rising proportion of patients who report no history of tobacco or betel nut usage. Therefore, objective of the study was to find out potential risk factors and demographics of HNSCC patients addicted to tobacco and/or betel nut, as well as non-addicted patients.
Methods: This epidemiological study was conducted in Karachi Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), University of Karachi, and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) from January to December 2016. All subjects were participants in an epidemiological study of HNSCC. Demographics and clinical characteristics were obtained for 185 addicted and 26 non-addicted patients.
Results: Non-addicted patients were more likely to be females (2=19.0, p<0.001) and were significantly younger than addicted patients (2=21.0, p<0.001). Addicted patients more likely belonged to a lower income group (2=14.4, p=0.006) and had a higher proportion of oral cancers (2=30.0, p<0.001). Almost all addicted females had oral cancers (97%), whereas more than half of the non-addicted females had oral cancers (53%).
Conclusions: Addicted patients commonly have oral cavity cancers. This might be due to the habit of chewing tobacco and/or betel nut that addicted patients have. Non-addicted patients are commonly young females. It is likely that no single known factor is responsible for HNSCC in non-addicted patients, and several occupational exposure studies in future may be important to the etiology of non-addicted patients.
How to cite this:
Kanwal M, Haider G, Zareef U, Saleem S. Addiction of tobacco chewing and smoking in the patients of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: A descriptive epidemiological study in Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(6):1712-1717. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.6.1309
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