Oral cancer in Papua New Guinea: looking back and looking forward

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Kelwaip, RA
Fose, S
Siddiqui, MS
Molumi, CP
Apaio, LM
Conway, DI
Johnson, NW
Thomas, SJ
Lambert, DW
Hunter, KD
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Oral diseases, including cancers, affect 3·5 billion people globally and remain largely untreated in Low to Middle Income (LMIC) countries due to lack of resources. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), oral cancer has, for many decades, been identified as the most common cancer in men, but as the GLOBOCAN2018 data are estimates extrapolated from surrounding countries, the real prevalence of this disease is not known. The PNG National Health Plan (2011-2020) highlights the need to improve healthcare, but oral health is not identified as a priority. Alcohol, and tobacco and areca nut/betel quid, the social and commercial determinants of oral cancer, are common risk factors, and there is robust data linking these risk factors to oral cancer in this country. Our recent Global Challenges Research Fund Workshop on Oral Cancer, held in Port Moresby, PNG, brought together a number of researchers in OC epidemiology and translational science with clinicians from PNG in order to assess the current situation and plan ways to move forward. In this article, we will review the literature on oral cancer in PNG, and make suggestions as to how, collaboratively, we can address the issues identified, ultimately, for the benefit of the people of PNG.

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Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology

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Oncology and carcinogenesis

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Kelwaip, RA; Fose, S; Siddiqui, M; Molumi, CP; Apaio, KLM; Conway, DI; Johnson, NW; Thomas, S; Lambert, DW; Hunter, KD, Oral cancer in Papua New Guinea: looking back and looking forward, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology, 2020