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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 127-130

Impact of Toombak dipping in the etiology of oral cancer: Gender-exclusive hazard in the Sudan

1 Department of Histopathology and Cytology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Khartoum, Sudan
2 School of Medicine, Ahfad University, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Hussain G Ahmed
Faculty of Medicine 102, U of K, Toombak Centre, Khartoum
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.34696

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Background : Oral cancer (OC) mortality is very high in Sudan, particularly among men due to the habit of Toombak use (tobacco specific nitrose amine (TSN)) rich tobacco. Aims : Our aim was to determine whether OC is gender-specific due to increased Toombak use among males as suggested a risk for subsequent development of oral cancer. Settings and Design : We conducted a descriptive study of OC in Khartoum and obtained information on Toombak use, confounding variables for 39 incident patients with oral cancerous lesions and 43 hospital-based cases without apparent oral lesions. Materials and Methods : OC was affirmed by histopathology for all patients with oral lesions, hence oral epithelial atypia and leukoplakias were detected using cytology. Statistical Analysis : Data analyzed using a computer SPSS program. Results and Conclusions : Of the 82 subjects, there were 57 (70%) Toombak users and 25 (30%) non-tobacco users. Among the 39 patients with OC, 24 (61.5%) were Toombak users and 15 (38.5%) were non-tobacco users. Among 43 with atypical changes, 10 (23.3%) were non-tobacco users and 33 (76.7%) were Toombak users. Regarding gender, only 11 (13.4%) were females, of whom 8 (72.7%) were non-tobacco users. We conclude that oral cancer, atypia and leukoplakia were high among males who were Toombak users. In view of the high incidence (29%) of OC due to Toombak use, we propose the implementation of oral screening programme restricted to Toombak users.

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