The British Asian community has been warned of the particularly high risk of oral cancer that they face.
Dr Chet Trivedy, an accident and emergency consultant at Kingston Hospital and a trustee of the Oral Health Foundation, has indicated that many traditional habits that are prevalent among British Asians could put them at a greater risk of this form of cancer.
“An expert from the Oral Health Foundation has warned British Asians that they face a particularly high risk of developing oral cancer.“
Specifically, the chewing of products containing betel nuts and tobacco - also referred to as paan or paan masala - can be extremely risky, as these substances are commonly used in Asian communities as stimulants and are freely sold in many Asian grocery stores, despite being highly carcinogenic.
A recent study led by the University of York suggested that as many as 250,000 deaths worldwide are caused by smokeless tobacco products every year, with south and south-east Asia accounting for almost three-quarters of this figure.
Dr Trivedy said: "I encourage British Asian communities to spot the warning signs: ulcers which do not heal within two weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and any unusual lumps in the head or neck area. Visit a dentist or doctor if they notice anything unusual."
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