Ground-breaking Study by HCG Cancer Hospital Links high concentration Fluoride in Gutkha and Pan Masala to Oral precancerous condition

In a ground-breaking study, a team of doctors from HCG Cancer Hospital, Bengaluru led by Dr. Gururaj Arakeri Dr. Vishal Rao US, Dr Shekhar Patil and team has discovered a potential new cause for Oral Submucous Fibrosis (OSMF), a pre-cancerous condition that results in the stiffening of oral tissues and a decrease in mouth opening.

The research, published in the Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine, British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Medical Hypotheses, found that gutkha and pan masala, widely used chewing tobacco products in India, contain high levels of fluoride. When these products are chewed, the fluoride is absorbed and stored in the oral tissues in large amounts, potentially causing local toxic effects. This accumulation is believed to contribute to the development and severity of OSMF among users. This finding significantly deviates from the previous belief that the primary cause of OSMF was arecanut, particularly its copper content.

The researchers speculate that the fluoride in gutkha and pan masala could not only lead to OSMF but also potentially aid in malignant transformation upon continuous use, raising serious concerns about the risk of oral cancer.

The team’s findings underscore the severity of OSMF among gutkha users when compared to those who consume arecanut alone. This discovery could have far-reaching implications for public health, particularly in regions where gutkha and pan masala are widely consumed.

The researchers from HCG Cancer Hospital are calling for increased public awareness and stronger regulatory measures to address this overlooked health risk. They hope that their findings will pave the way for further research into the effects of fluoride on oral health and potentially lead to new preventative measures and treatments for OSMF and oral cancer.

The team at HCG Cancer Hospital is not stopping at this discovery. They are planning to conduct further research to validate their results on a larger sample size, and they also intend to incorporate some molecular studies into their research plan. This includes studies on malignant transformation, which could provide more insights into the progression from oral submucous fibrosis to oral cancer.

In addition, the doctors have expressed a strong suspicion about the relationship between fluoride in drinking water and the development of this condition. They plan to conduct a study to evaluate this potential link. If proven, this could have significant implications for public health policies and practices, particularly in regions with high levels of fluoride in the water supply.

These planned studies underscore the team’s commitment to understanding and combating oral submucous fibrosis and oral cancer. Their work could lead to new preventative measures, treatments, and potentially, save lives. The fight against oral cancer continues, and the team at HCG Cancer Hospital is at the forefront of this battle. Stay tuned for more updates on their ground-breaking research.

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