This is an update on cultural and dietary risk factors for oral precancer and cancer. It is an overview on ethnic differences (where possible) and socio-cultural risk factors (tobacco/areca nut/betel quid, alcohol use and dietary factors) in relation to oral precancer and cancer. While studies were from Western countries, India and China, this update also attempts to include and highlight some studies conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.
One of the objectives of this short communication was to add to the literature on the prevalence of oral recurrent aphthous stomatitis (ORAS). This research is based on a total of 11,697 randomly selected Malaysian subjects with an age range of 25-115 years and a mean age of 44.5 +/- 13.9 years who were examined for oral mucosal lesions (ORAS). The prevalence of ORAS detected during the oral examination (average point prevalence) was found to be 0.5% (64 subjects). ORAS formed 5.7% of all lesions detected during the survey. The average point prevalence of ORAS was highest in the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak (1.2%), followed by the Chinese (0.7%), the Malays (0.5%) and the Indians (0.1%). This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). A review of the English literature on the prevalence of ORAS revealed different prevalence types used by different researchers, namely average point prevalence (APP), self reported life-time prevalence (SLP) and self reported two-year prevalence (STP). The other objective of this paper was to present the different types of prevalence that have been reported in the literature and to discuss the usefulness of such prevalence types in relation to using epidemiology in deriving certain possible etiological associations.
The prevalence of clinically observed oral lichenoid reaction in 186 Malay army personnel using Fansidar for 9 weeks was found to be 4.8%. The prevalence was found to be 0.5% in 186 army personnel who had stopped using Fansidar for 2 months and 0% in 143 army personnel (control group) who had not used Fansidar for at least 4 months. The lesion showed a higher prevalence for the gingiva. There was no correlation between cigarette smoking and the occurrence of these lesions in each group.
A study on the oral health status of 198 factory workers (in Antara Steel, Pasir Gudang, Johor) was carried out in November 1986. The subjects were predominantly male (94%) and Malay (91%) with an average age of 27.4 years. The prevalence of caries was 87.4% with a mean DMFT of 7.1 + 5.4. There were 3 subjects with full upper, lower dentures and 16 subjects with partial dentures. Two subjects examined needed dentures but were not wearing them. Thirty five (17.7%) of those examined needed urgent extractions, and 8 needed emergency treatment for fillings. Enamel opacities were found in 141 subjects (75.6%) but only 9 were aware of these defects. Dental health was very poor with 72% examined needing scaling. Seventeen (9%) had gross supra and subgingival calculus. There was a total of 107 (54%) smokers and heavy nicotine stains were found in 41 (20.7%), of the population examined. Examination of soft tissues showed 111 (56%) subjects with recurrent aphthous ulcers whilst 15 (7.6%) suffered from herpes labialis. Five subjects (2.5%) suffered from denture stomatitis whilst the prevalence of other soft tissue lesions was very low.
This study aims to identify the relationship between dietary intakes of β-carotene with risk of oral cancer.
Methods: A hospital-based, case-control study was conducted on 306 Malaysians who seek treatment at participating centres/hospitals. Subjects selected from the Malaysian Oral Cancer Data and Tissue Banking System (MOCDTBS) consisted of 153 cases and 153 controls that were matched for gender, age (±5 years) and ethnicity. Food consumption was measured using Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). NutrieMart Version 2.0.0 software was used to estimate daily nutrient of each subject from the FFQ. Logistic Regression analysis was conducted to compute the odds ratio (OR) for intakes of β-carotene and oral cancer risk.
Results: Intake of β-carotene was found to be not associated with risk of oral cancer (OR 0.83, 95%CI: 0.42-1.66, p>0.05).
Conclusion: No significant association was found between dietary intakes of β-carotene with oral cancer risk in this study population.
A study has been conducted on 198 employees of a steel-mill industry. These participants were examined for mucosal lesions in the oral cavity and including the commissures and vermillion borders of the lips. The prevalences of 16 types of lesions are reported.
Many studies have been reported on radiographic lesion sizes of periapical lesions. However no studies have been reported on prevalences of subjective radiographic features in these lesions except for the early assumption that a periapical cyst usually exhibit a radiopaque cortex. This study is conducted to evaluate the prevalences of several subjective radiographic features of periapical cysts and granulomas in the hope to identify features that maybe suggestive of either diagnosis. The results showed that a regular (circular or semi-circular) radiographic outline is likely to be a periapical cyst while an irregular radiographic outline is not indicative of either a cyst or a granuloma. The association between the regular/irregular radiographic outline and the type of periapical lesion was found to be statistically significant (p less than 0.001). The associations of two other radiographic features and the type of periapical lesion were found to be just statistically significant (p less than 0.01). These features are the symmetry/asymmetry of the radiolucency in relation to the apex and the funnel-shaped/angular-shaped extension of the radiolucency. The widely accepted criteria that the possession of a radiopaque cortex surrounding the radiolucency can discriminate between a periapical cyst and granuloma cannot be statistically supported in this study.
The association between cigarette smoking and the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions was examined in 495 Malaysian army personnel. No associations between cigarette smoking and recurrent aphthous ulcerations, pre-leukoplakia and frictional keratosis could be obtained in this study. Positive associations were found between cigarette smoking and leukoedema as well as denture stomatitis. There was a negative association between cigarette smoking and the presence of coated tongue.
Two hundred four cases of fibrous lesions of the gingiva were studied histologically for the presence of calcified tissue, the nature of the connective tissue, the type of keratinization, and the degree of epithelial thickness. Initially these lesions were subcategorized into four specific entities, namely fibrous epulis, fibroepithelial polyp, calcifying fibroblastic granuloma, and ossifying fibrous epulis. It was found that 46.5% of the lesions contained calcifications. The connective tissue was represented predominantly by either the collagenous type (50.5%) or the mixed (cellular and collagenous) type (44.6%). It was also found that 36% of the lesions were ulcerated, and, of these, 79.5% were associated with the cellular type of connective tissue and calcifications. In an attempt to subcategorize the fibrous lesions into specific entities, it was found that 32 cases (15.7%) had mixed features. This fact supports the suggestion that these lesions are stages in the spectrum of a single disease process and should collectively be termed fibroblastic gingival lesions. However, it is also suggested that the two terms, namely peripheral fibroma and fibrous epulis with and without ossification, should be retained whereas the usage of other terminologies should be avoided.
A case of an incomplete tooth fracture followed by a complete fracture was presented. The difficulty of diagnosing this condition was discussed as well as the possible histological explanation of the symptoms experienced by the patient. It once again points out to practising dentists, that whilst deep pockets can give rise to severe periodontal pain, intense and excruciating pain should be investigated with the cracked tooth in mind.
Peripheral fibroma/fibrous epulis accounts for the great majority of localised gingival swellings as was substantiated by various reports in the literature. A study was undertaken to investigate the clinical features of a series of 204 localised fibrous gingival swellings received by the Histopathology Laboratory, Department of Oral Surgery, National University of Singapore. The female patients were more affected than the male patients and the lesions occurred predominantly among the Chinese. The lesions were mainly pedunculated and most commonly occurred in anterior maxilla. The recurrence rate was about 10.3%. In conclusion the results obtained in this study were overall in agreement with those of other authors.
Oral cancer is the sixth most common malignancy in the world. Despite recent advances in cancer diagnoses and therapies, the five-year survival rate of oral cancer patients has remained at a dismal 50% in the last few decades. Oral cancer is of major concern in Southeast Asia primarily because of the prevalent oral habits namely betel quid chewing, smoking and alcohol consumption. This paper provides a brief overview on the various aetiological agents and risk factors implicated in the development of oral cancer.
Verrucous papillary lesions (VPLs) of oral cavity are diagnostically challenging as they include a spectrum of benign, potentially malignant, and frankly malignant lesions. A majority of the benign VPLs have viral aetiology and include commonly occurring squamous papilloma along with verruca vulgaris, focal epithelial hyperplasia, and condyloma. Current understanding of potentially malignant VPLs is perplexing and is primarily attributed to the use of confusing and unsatisfactory terminology. Clinically and histologically oral verrucous hyperplasia, a potentially malignant disorder, resembles oral verrucous carcinoma and may be indistinguishable from one another. The most reliable way to separate these entities on routine haematoxylin-eosin stained tissue sections is to recognize the exophytic growth patterns of oral verrucous hyperplasia from the combined exophytic and endophytic growth patterns associated with verrucous carcinoma. A review of the literature showed that there is a lot of confusion regarding the current clinical and histopathological guidelines to diagnose this potentially malignant entity. The criteria elaborated by different authors in establishing the diagnosis of oral verrucous hyperplasia are discussed in detail. A brief overview of the treatment modalities adopted is also discussed. The need for establishing a clear understanding of this potentially malignant entity is stressed as it may have far reaching implications on its management.
Some oral verrucal lesions may constitute parts of the clinicopathological spectrum of proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL). Because of its idiopathic yet sinister nature, it is possible that PVL may exist in other populations. The aim of this study was to review the clinicopathological features of persistent, multifocal, oral verrucal lesions in Malaysian population.
A case of bullous pemphigoid with extra-oral and intraoral lesions in a 60-year-old female is reported. Diagnosis is based on histopathology and direct immunofluorescence, and the treatment regime described included oral prescription of prednisolone and topical application of a mixture of fluocinonide ointment and triamcinolone acetonide in Orabase on the oral lesions.
A clinical analysis of 304 cases of pyogenic granuloma (excluding pregnancy tumour) were obtained from the clinical evaluations submitted by clinicians while sending specimens for biopsy. The average age of the patients with pyogenic granuloma was 28.9 years with a peak age incidence in the second decade. More female patients were affected and the lesions present mainly in the Chinese. The majority of the lesions were ulcerated and pedunculated. The lesions had a mean diameter of 10.8 mm with a mean lesion duration of 6.0 months. The gingiva was the prevalent site for these lesions with a greater number being located in the maxilla. The recurrence rate was found to be 14.1%.
Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is a well known marker for cell proliferation. It tends to accumulate in the late G1 and S-phase of the cell cycle. A monoclonal antibody (MoAb) against PCNA is now available and it can react with paraffin-embedded specimens. In the present study, PCNA immunohistochemical staining of 36 cases of oral cancer specimens obtained from surgery were investigated. The results showed differing nuclear staining patterns for PCNA in normal, hyperplastic and dysplastic epithelium, early cancer and 3 levels of differentiation for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity. It appears that PCNA can be a useful marker in delineating normal epithelium and hyperplastic epithelium from dysplasia in the oral cavity. The use of PCNA staining may further emphasize the conventional histopathological grading of well-differentiated, moderately-differentiated and poorly-differentiated oral squamous cell carcinoma but is still dependent on basic criteria as observed without immunostaining. PCNA expression for all grades of squamous cell carcinoma are present at the deep, infiltrative margins.
At the Faculties of Dentistry in Chiang Mai, Thailand (CM), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KL), 234 and 233 consecutive out-patients of mean ages 33.8 and 31.0 yr, respectively, were examined for the presence of oral mucosal lesions. Tobacco in some form was regularly used by 31.7% and 27.5% of the study populations in CM and KL, respectively. Cigarette smoking was the predominant habit. In CM three persons chewed betel quids and nine smoked banana leaf cigars daily. In addition, there were 24 habitual chewers of tea leaves (miang). In KL six persons chewed betel quids daily. In CM and KL three cases each (1.3%) of tobacco-associated leukoplakias were found. In KL an additional idiopathic leukoplakia was registered. One and three cases of betel related lesions were found in CM and KL, respectively. One case of a squamous cell carcinoma was found in a 45-yr-old Indian woman in KL who had been chewing betel with tobacco daily for many years. High prevalence figures were found for lichen planus, 3.8% in CM and 2.1% in KL, and an extremely high one, 48.3%, in CM for episodes of aphthous ulcers experienced during the last 2 yr. Comparatively low prevalence figures were found for herpes labialis. As could be expected melanin pigmentation was prevalent while only low figures were encountered for denture-related lesions and amalgam tattoos.
The aim of this study is to determine the social impact of oral and facial pain in a sample involving an industrial population. Out of a total of 355 subjects interviewed, nearly one-half claimed to have oral and facial pain in the previous one month prior to the survey. The most common type of pain was that related to hot or cold fluids or sweet things followed by toothache. On the average, the pain lasted for 4.2 days (SD = 4.9) per person in the past one-month. About one in five persons with pain reported that it was severe enough to disrupt sleep. About one in ten persons reporting pain had to take sick leave because of the pain. However, only one in four persons with pain consulted a doctor or dentist. More than one-third tried to cope with the pain and did nothing while the rest tried various means of self-cure. It is therefore postulated that in this population, pain per se is a poor predictor of utilisation of dental services. Further research into pain coping behaviour and how this affects of pattern of utilisation of dental services is indicated in order to formulate a strategy to encourage the habit of seeking prompt dental care by the target population.
Cancers involving the oral cavity, head, and neck regions are often treated with cisplatin. In cancer therapy, the main target is to eliminate unwanted cancerous cells. However, reports on the nonselective nature of this drug have raised few concerns. Incorrect nutritional habits and lifestyle practices have been directly linked to cancer incidence. Nutrients with antioxidant activity inhibit cancer cells development, destroying them through oxidative stress and apoptosis. α-tocopherol, the potent antioxidant form of vitamin E is a known scavenger of free radicals. In vitro study exhibited effective antitumor activity of α-tocopherol on ORL-48 at 2.5 ± 0.42 µg/mL. Cisplatin exhibited stronger activity at 1.0 ± 0.15 µg/mL, but unlike α-tocopherol it exhibited cytotoxicity on normal human epidermal keratinocytes at very low concentration (<0.1 µg/mL). Despite the lower potency of α-tocopherol, signs of apoptosis such as the shrinkage of cells and appearance of apoptotic bodies were observed much earlier than cisplatin in time lapse microscopy. No apoptotic vesicles were formed with cisplatin, instead an increased population of cells in the holoclone form which may suggest different induction mechanisms between both agents. High accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 phase were observed through TUNEL and annexin V-biotin assays, while the exhibition of ultrastructural changes of the cellular structures verified the apoptotic mode of cell death by both agents. Both cisplatin and α-tocopherol displayed cell cycle arrest at the Sub G0 phase. α-tocopherol thus, showed potential as an antitumour agent for the treatment of oral cancer and merits further research.