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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 209-210

Shifting trends in oral cancer with the winds of changing time


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Panchkula, Haryana, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Panchkula, Haryana, India
3 Department of Prosthodontics, Shree Bankey Bihari Dental College and Research Centre, Ghaziabad (U.P), India

Date of Web Publication26-Dec-2012

Correspondence Address:
Harkanwal P Singh
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Panchkula, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.105093

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How to cite this article:
Singh HP, Bains SK, Bansal T, Kumar P. Shifting trends in oral cancer with the winds of changing time. Int J Health Allied Sci 2012;1:209-10

How to cite this URL:
Singh HP, Bains SK, Bansal T, Kumar P. Shifting trends in oral cancer with the winds of changing time. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Sep 21];1:209-10. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2012/1/3/209/105093

Sir,

The following observations are an attempt to initiate an open dialogue worldwide and provide a fourth dimension about the potential risks for oral cancer beside conventional factors such as the use of tobacco and excessive consumption of alcohol; such malignancies do have a high mortality and morbidity, but they can be prevented. [1]

Recent studies in the United States and Europehave shown that the percentage of smokers has reduced significantly with an associated fall in the conventional subset of head and neck cancer; however, in the past 30 years there is an increase in the rates of oropharyngeal cancer especially of the tongue and tonsil. [2] Such an assertive supposition, however, does not exist without controversy among both the scientific and lay communities. Alliance of oral cancer with oral sexual practice is a controversial and debatable topic of recent interest. Oral sex refers to sexual activities involving the stimulation of the genitalia by the use of the mouth, tongue, teeth, or throat. Oral sex is now very common among both heterosexual and homosexual couples. [3] Oral cavity provides a gateway to various oral infections caused by bacteria and viruses. In recent times, several studies have been conducted to evaluate the connection between the human papilloma virus (HPV) and the risk for oral cancer. AsHPV16 is the most predominant strain in cervical cancer, its transmission to the oropharyngeal region can occur through the mouth, especially during oral sex in sexually active individuals. [4]

There are limited epidemiologic and experimental studies which can provide convincing evidence. Mork et al. demonstrated a greater than two-fold risk for subsequently developing oral cancer if there was HPV-16 seropositivity. [5] Schwartz et al. studied whether sexual transmission of HPV types commonly found in the genital tract is significant in the development of oral cancer. Young individuals, who increasingly practice unprotected oral sex especially with multiple partners and with a history of genital warts, may be contributing to the increase in oral and oropharyngeal cancers. [6] Recent work by D'Souza and colleagues showed that HPV infection is likely to be acquired sexually with an increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer with either many (more than 26) lifetime vaginal sex partners or six or more lifetime oralsex partners. Obviously the issue is confounded by the use of and availability of mucosal protection for genital rather than oral intercourse. [7]

So we conclude, Sir, by re-emphasizing Brondani's statement "To diagnose oral cancer our enquiries should not be restricted just to tobacco, dietary history, and oral hygiene practices but should also focus on oral sexual practices and all of the potential pathogens associated with it". [8]

 
  References Top

1.Syrjänen S. Human papillomaviruses in head and neck carcinomas. N Engl J Med 2007;356:1993-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Upile T, Jerjes W, Al-Khawalde M, Radhi H, Sudhoff H. Oral sex, cancer and death: Sexually transmitted cancers. Head Neck Oncol 2012;4:31.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Saini R. Oral sex and oral cancer: A virus link. J Pharm Bio allied Sci 2011;3:467-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Chocolatewala NM, Chaturvedi P. Role of human papilloma virus in the oral carcinogenesis: An Indian perspective. J Cancer Res Ther 2009;5:71-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Mork J, Lie AK, Glattre E, Hallmans G, Jellum E, Koskela P, et al. Human papillomavirus infection as a risk factor for squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck. N Engl J Med 2001;344:1125-31.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Schwartz SM, Daling JR, Doody DR, Wipf GC, Carter JJ, Madeleine MM, et al. Oral cancer risk in relation to sexual history and evidence of human papilloma virus infection. J Natl Cancer Inst 1998;90:1626-36.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.D'Souza G, Kreimer AR, Viscidi R, Pawlita M, Fakhry C, Koch WM. Case control study of human papillomavirus and oropharyngeal cancer. N Engl J Med 2007;356:1944-56.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Brondani MA. HPV, oral sex, and the risk of oral cancer: Food for thought [Editorial]. Spec Care Dentist 2008;28:183-4.  Back to cited text no. 8
    




 

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