Unhealthy food may cause cancer

Bindu Shajan Perappadan

NEW DELHI: It's official. Alcohol and tobacco abuse added to low consumption of roots, tubers, leafy vegetable and fruits which could put people on the fast track to becoming a sitting duck for cancer of the larynxes. Also, high consumption of eggs, meat, and spicy and fried food contributes to developing high risk factors for larynxes cancer.

This has been revealed in a controlled comparative trial conducted at the country's premier All-India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) and funded by the Division of Non-Communicable Disease, Indian Council of Medical Research, which found that abuse of tobacco products and unhealthy food put healthy individuals at a greater risk for cancer of the larynxes.

Cancer of the larynx is the fourteenth most common cancer in the world and a pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire was provided to healthy individuals and those with the cancer. Also taken into account were the food habits and risk factors of the people.

The study found that there was a significant difference in the dietary consumption patterns of laryngeal cancer patients, indicating a role for nutritional factors in the pattern of the cancer in the Indian population. "It was found that the mean age of laryngeal cancer patients was 57 years. The results of the study also revealed that decreased consumption of roots and tubers (less than four times a week) increased the risk for laryngeal cancer 5.25 times. If other vegetables and green leafy vegetables were consumed less than four times a week, the risk was 2.20 and 5.67 times higher respectivelyLess consumption of fruits increased risk by 3.28 times. Also, prevalence of laryngeal cancer was found to be higher in males,'' said Umesh Kapil, Professor in the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition at AIIMS.

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