Oral cancer not the only risk for those who chew tobacco
Contrary to the prevailing notion that chewing tobacco only increases the risk of oral cancer, a study that looked at different researches conducted in India has shown that smokeless tobacco can also cause oesophageal, throat and even stomach cancer.
The findings are critical. While one-third of the country’s population takes tobacco, 21% of them consume smokeless tobacco, such as gutkha and khaini, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey released in 2010.
“While reviewing various studies, we found the incidence of oesophagal [foodpipe] cancer was higher in the north-east, while in the south we found pancreatic cancer was prevalent in those who consumed smokeless tobacco,” said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck cancer surgeon at Tata Memorial Centre and co-author of the review study.