Oral cancer risk factors in New Zealand

Muhammed Yakin, Ratu Osea Gavidi, Brian Cox, Alison Rich

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    Oral cancer constitutes the majority of head and neck cancers, which are the fift h most common malignancy worldwide, accounting for an estimated 984,430 cases in 2012. Between 2000 and 2010, there were 1,916 cases of OSCC in New Zealand with a male to female ratio of 1.85:1, and an age-standardised incidence rate of 42 persons per 1,000,000 population. This article presents an overview of the main risk factors for oral and oropharyngeal cancers and their
    prevalence in New Zealand. Alcohol consumption is the most prevalent risk factor in New Zealand, followed by tobacco. Given the high prevalence of these two risk factors and their synergistic effect, it is important for doctors and dentists to encourage smoking cessation in smokers and to recommend
    judicious alcohol intake. Research is needed to determine the prevalence of use of oral preparations of tobacco and water-pipe smoking in New Zealand, especially due to changing demography and increases in migrant populations. UV radiation is also an important risk factor. Further investigations are also needed to determine the prevalence of oral and oropharyngeal cancers attributable to oncogenic HPV infection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)30-38
    Number of pages9
    JournalNew Zealand Medical Journal
    Issue number1451
    Publication statusPublished - 03 Mar 2017


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