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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-19

Oral smokeless tobacco consumption pattern among rural Indian cancer patients: A prospective survey

1 Department of Medical Oncology, State Cancer Institute, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Avinash Pandey
Department of Medical Oncology, State Cancer Institute, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_40_19

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Background: Oral tobacco consumption predisposes to cancer. The pattern of its use in rural Indian cancer patients is unknown. Aim: The aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of oral tobacco consumption in cancer patients. Objectives: To identify oral tobacco consumption pattern with respect to demographic variables and clinical profiles in adult Indian rural cancer patients. Materials and Methods: All consecutive individual adult (age >18 years) patients diagnosed with any cancer and registered in the Medical Oncology Outpatient department were enrolled for questionnaire-based survey on oral tobacco consumption between July 2017 and October 2017. Demographic variables were also recorded, including income, education, and occupation. Frequency distribution and cross-tabulation were used for statistical analysis using SPSS version 17. Results: Of 517 cancer patients enrolled, 456 (88%) were rural. 230/517 (44%) consumed several forms of oral tobacco. Out of 230, 179 (78%) of them had dried tobacco leaves, whereas 23 (10%) and 26 (11%) had Gutkha and pan (betel leaves) alone, respectively. 63 (27%) consumed tobacco leaves and gutkha both. 163 (91%) of tobacco chewers were male, whereas 65% of pan chewers were male and 35% of females. About 48% of tobacco chewers were addicted since >20 years, whereas 13% started in the past 5 years. 47/179 (26%) of tobacco chewers were illiterate, whereas 13/179 (7.2%) were graduates. 106 (59%) had monthly income of between Rs. 5000–10,000. 57 (32%) and 40 (22%) were farmers and laborers, respectively. 25/215 (12%) housewives were addicted. 41/58 (70%) of the head-and-neck cancer patients consumed tobacco products, where 29/41 (70%) used dried tobacco leaves to chew. Conclusion: More than 40% of adult Indian rural cancer patients consume oral smokeless tobacco products. Dried tobacco leaves are the most common form of smokeless tobacco consumed.

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