Eating vegetables could reduce oral cancer risk

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Eating vegetables could reduce oral cancer risk

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People who eat vegetables such as broccoli at least once a week can reduce their risk of developing mouth cancer by almost a fifth, a new study has suggested. (Photo: Svetlana Lukienko/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

By Dental Tribune International

Tue. 9. October 2012

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RUGBY, UK: In a large series of studies conducted in Italy and Switzerland, researchers have found that people who ate green vegetables were less likely to develop mouth cancer. Consuming broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage at least once a week cut their risk of developing the disease by 17 per cent, the study revealed.

In addition, the researchers from various European health institutions observed that a vegetable-rich diet significantly reduced the participants’ risk of oesophageal cancer by 28 per cent, colorectal and breast cancer by 17 per cent, and kidney cancer by 32 per cent, compared with men and women who ate no green vegetables.

Cruciferous vegetables, also including sprouts, watercress and radish, have been suggested as being protective against various cancers, the scientists said. In order to obtain new insights into their role, the researchers studied 1,468 cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, 505 of the oesophagus, 230 of the stomach, 2,390 of the colorectum, 185 of the liver, 326 of the pancreas, 852 of the larynx, 3,034 of the breast, 367 of the endometrium, 1,031 of the ovary, 1,294 of the prostate and 767 of the kidney, as well as 11,492 controls.

“Around a third of all cases of oral cancer are thought to be linked to an unhealthy diet. The British Dental Health Foundation recommends that people ensure they eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. There is also increasing evidence that omega-3, found in fish and eggs, can help lower the risk of oral cancer, as can food high in fibre such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta, nuts and seeds,” said Dr Nigel Carter OBE, the foundation’s chief executive.

The number of people being diagnosed with the disease is continually rising, he added. According to the WHO’s GLOBOCAN survey, almost 6,500 people developed lip cancer, cancer of the oral cavity, the nasopharynx and other unspecified parts of the pharynx in the UK in 2008.

The study was published in the August issue of the Annals of Oncology journal.

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