By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: A person’s blood group may predict susceptibility
to oral cancers and the risk increases further if he or she is
addicted to tobacco chewing or smoke.
A thorough dig into the data of hospital records shows that people
with the blood group A are relatively at higher risk of developing
oral cancers than those with three other blood groups - B, AB and O.
Those with the blood group O are the least susceptible to oral cancers.
Researchers from Pacific Dental College and Hospital, Udaipur in
Rajasthan, and Al-Azhar Dental College, Thodupuzha in Kerala, studied
the old records of oral cancer patients, who were treated at Kidwai
Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, to relate if the blood
group of an individual had anything to do with the cancers of the
mouth, tongue and lips.
Analysis of the records by the team comprising Ramesh Nagarajappa and
B Fathima Jaleel showed that patients with the blood group A were in
the majority and they were in the age group 40-59 years. Incidentally,
they were habituated to chewing tobacco and smoke. The records
pertained to 235 oral cancer patients and the data was compared with
812 controls. The risk for oral cancers for blood groups decreased in
the following order: A, B, AB and O.
“By employing a simple blood grouping test during community field
programs, people with blood group A in the age group of 40-59 years
having tobacco chewing habits can be apprised that they are more at
risk to develop oral cancer than people with other blood groups,” they
said in their study.
About 40 per cent of all cancers reported in India are related to
mouth or oral cavity. Oral cancers are emerging as a major killer
disease in the country. The incidence of oral cancers ranged from 68
per cent in case of buccal mucosa to 12 per cent in case of tongue and
one per cent in case of lip. The remaining percentage was shared by
other forms of oral cancers.
Explaining the reason for blood group A susceptibility to oral
cancers, they said the blood group antigens are also found on the
epithelial cells of mouth. Other blood groups do not have their
antigens present in the mouth. They said oral cancers could be
prevented by suggesting people with blood group A to avoid tobacco and
other cancer-causing agents.
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