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Folate intake and risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer. *

Background: Diet has been recognised as having a role in the aetiology of oral and pharyngeal cancer, and dietary factors may account for 10-15% of cases in Europe. Folate deficiency has been linked to risk of several cancers, but has not been studied adequately with respect to oral cancer.

Patients and methods: This case-control study, conducted in Italy and French-speaking Switzerland, included 749 patients with incident cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, and 1772 hospital controls with acute, non-neoplastic conditions. The interviews used a validated food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using multiple logistic regression.

Results: The ORs were 0.68 (95% CI 0.52-0.88) for the intermediate tertile and 0.53 (95% CI 0.40-0.69) for the highest tertile of dietary folate intake, compared with the lowest tertile. No heterogeneity was found in strata of gender, age, methionine intake or alcohol consumption. The combined OR for low-folate and high-alcohol intake versus high-folate and low-alcohol intake was 22.3 (95% CI 13.1-38).

Conclusions: Our study supports a protective role of folate against oral and pharyngeal carcinogenesis. Compared with low folate intake, a consistent reduction in risk was already observed from intermediate levels of intake, suggesting that cancer risk may be related to relative folate deficiency.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 11-20-2007