june 2011

Decreased oral cancer risk by moderate alcohol consumption in non-smoker postmenopausal women

OBJECTIVE: Alcohol consumption is a strong risk factor for oral cancer however; an ambiguous biphasic impact of moderate and excessive alcohol intake on the risk of upper aerodigestive tract cancers has also been published. The aim of the present study was to clarify the dose-related risk of alcohol consumption for oral cancer, in male and female cases.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Six-hundred and eight non-smoker patients (466 males and 142 females) with squamous cell oral carcinomas (OCs) and 406 non-smoker tumor free controls (264 males and 142 females) were included into the study. Data of three groups; abstinent cases, moderate and excessive alcohol consumers were recorded according to the drinking habits of both OC cases and their controls. Blood glucose levels in male and female cases and menopausal state of women were also registered.

RESULTS: Mean age of female patients was significantly higher than of male cases (p<0.01). Excessive alcohol consumption was a strong risk factor for both sexes, however moderate alcohol intake proved to be an OC risk for men (OR: 1.4) and decreased the OC risk for women (OR: 0.7). Elevated blood glucose level proved to be an OC risk factor for the predominantly postmenopausal women (OR: 1.6), whereas did not affect the OC risk among men.

CONCLUSION: The presented findings are controversial to the hypothesis that women are more vulnerable to alcohol-induced carcinogenesis as compared with men. Increased insulin sensitivity and higher estrogen levels are advantageous systemic effects of moderate ethanol intake and they might reduce the risk for OC in postmenopausal women.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Takacs D.; Koppany F.; Mihalyi S.; Suba Z.
  • Issue

    Oral Oncol. / pages 537-540 / volume 47
  • Published Date

    june 2011