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Oral Cancer Commonalities in Ethnic Groups

January 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

Dr. Satish Kumar and Dr. Parish Sedghizadeh are clinical professors at USC School of Dentistry in the Division of Diagnostic Services. They recently evaluated two decades worth of records from California Cancer Registry to study commonalities in oral cancer patients. What they found led them to believe that the way a particular ethnic group uses tobacco – a primary risk factor for oral cancer – can have an effect on where oral cancer cells form.

For instance, Caucasian and African American men smoke cigarettes more than other demographic groups in California, and oral cancer of the tongue is most prevalent in their cases. Some Filipino women practice reverse smoking, in which the lit end of a cigarette is placed into the mouth. This demographic group had a higher occurrence of cancer of the palate. Southeast Asians seemed to have cancer of the inner cheek more often than other groups, maybe because in this culture, chewing tobacco or areca nut is common.

Armed with this information, researchers can help anti-cancer efforts target particular ethnic groups with relevant educational materials.


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