375P - Prevalence of head and neck cancers and tobacco use among Malayali tribes, Yelagiri Hills, Tamil nadu, India

Date 17 December 2016
Event ESMO Asia 2016 Congress
Session Poster lunch
Topics Aetiology, Epidemiology, Screening and Prevention
Head and Neck Cancers
Presenter Delfin Lovelina Francis
Citation Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (suppl_9): ix112-ix122. 10.1093/annonc/mdw587
Authors D.L. Francis
  • Public Health Dentistry, Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, 600127 - Chennai/IN



India has the second largest tribal population of the world next to the African countries. Despite remarkable world-wide progress in the field of diagnostic, curative and preventive medicine, still there are large populations of people living in isolation in natural and unpolluted surroundings far away from civilisation, maintaining their traditional values, customs, beliefs and myths. Hence the present study was conducted to assess the oral health status, treatment needs among the Malayali tribes in the Yelagiri hills, Tamil nadu.


A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted to assess the tobacco use and head and neck cancer prevalenceamong 660 Malayali tribes in the Yelagiri Hills. Inhabitants of the villages aged 18 to 75 years who were residing for more than 15years were included. All the examinations were per- formed by a single examiner. Data was collected using a survey proforma which comprised of a questionnaire and WHO Oral Health Surveys – Basic Methods Proforma(1997). The collected data was subjected to statistical analysis


Results showed that among 660 study population, 57.7% had no formal education, 64.5% had indigenous brushing habits. A very high prevalence of periodontal disease was observed in this population. 58% had the habit of tobacco, of which 37% were males and 21% were females. The percentage of oral mucosal lesions observed were as follows: 19.09% leukoplakia, 29% ulceration and 6% malignant tumor. 37% of the study populations had other abnormal conditions like candidiasis and OSMF. Prevalence of oral mucosal lesions in the study population was due to tobacco usage and alcohol consumption and lack of awareness regarding the deleterious effects of the products used.


The oral health status of Malayali tribes was poor with high prevalence of periodontal disease and dental caries. Oral cancer and cancerous lesions were at a very high percentage. Regular oral examination by dental professionals, dental health education and motivation to maintain oral hygiene should be insisted to improve the oral health status of this community

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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.