Global Oral Health Inequalities in Incidence and Outcomes for Oral Cancer Causes and Solutions
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The mouth and oropharynx are among the ten most common sites affected by cancer worldwide, but global incidence varies widely. Five-year survival rates exceed 50% in only the best treatment centers. Causes are predominantly lifestyle-related: Tobacco, areca nut, alcohol, poor diet, viral infections, and pollution are all important etiological factors. Oral cancer is a disease of the poor and dispossessed, and reducing social inequalities requires national policies co-ordinated with wider health and social initiatives - the common risk factor approach: control of the environment; safe water; adequate food; public and professional education about early signs and symptoms; early diagnosis and intervention; evidence-based treatments appropriate to available resources; and thoughtful rehabilitation and palliative care. Reductions in inequalities, both within and between countries, are more likely to accrue from the application of existing knowledge in a whole-of-society approach. Basic research aimed at determining individual predisposition and acquired genetic determinants of carcinogenesis and tumor progression, thus allowing for targeted therapies, should be pursued opportunistically.
Advances in Dental Research
Copyright 2011 IADR/AADR. Published by Sage Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Dentistry not elsewhere classified