Background: Retrospective studies on oral cancer patient profiles related to risk habits could provide etiologic clues for prevention in specific geographic areas.
Objective: To study risk habit characteristics of oral cancer patients.
Methods: A cross sectional retrospective case record study of oral cancer patients who reported during 1991-2000 to Karnataka Cancer Therapy and Research Institute, Hubli, India was conducted. Data on socio-demography, histopathology, site of cancer and risk habit profiles of the patients were recorded in a predesigned Performa by one calibrated examiner with internal validity checks.
Results: The 1,472 oral cancer patients constituted 11% of total cancer patients. Mean age of the patients was 55 years, ranging from 12-88,with a male: female ratio of 2:1. 1,110 (75%) oral cancer patients had risk habits, 55% were habituated for >10years and 25% were habit free. 751(51%) patients had individual and 359(24%) had combined risk habits. Majority 59% were chewers of betel quid alone (17%) / betel quid with tobacco (42%); smokers were (31%)and alcohol users were (14%) of patients. Chewers of gutkha, khaini were more in <40 years and betel quid in >40 years. Risk habituates were highest (87%) in patients with cancer of buccal mucosa, commonly affected site attributed to chewing habit in (51%) of patients.
Conclusions: The prevalence of oral cancer was higheramong elderly males predominantly with risk habits of betel quid/tobacco chewing and smoking for more than 10 years.