Type of food and risk of oral cancer.
Arch Iran Med. 2007 Apr;10(2):227-32. PMID: 17367228
Department of Oral Pathology, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Cancer is the eventual outcome of the interaction between genetic factors and environmental exposures. Nutrition and diet, as environmental factors and determinants of growth and body composition can contribute to the risk of some human cancers such as oral cancer. This article explains the ways of carcinogenesis and the effect of diet on this process, especially focusing on head, neck, and oral cancers. To reduce the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma, the most common oral cancer, diet must be optimized, primarily to reduce calorie intake, monounsaturated fat, and red or processed meat. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and cereals, which are the major source of vitamins and fiber, should be adequate in the daily diet. Optimal levels of daily allowance of micronutrients like vitamin C, E, antioxidants, zinc, beta-carotene, and folate are effective in prevention of oral cancer. Consumption of fried or broiled foods and employment of microwave cooking, because of formation of heterocyclic amines, must be avoided because of increasing risks of oral cancer including the salivary gland tumors.