National Journal of Community Medicine

Original Article

Year: 2019 | Volume: 10 | Issue: 3 | Page No: 182-186

Changes in Addiction Pattern in Patients after Being Diagnosed With Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer

Author: Rakesh Kumar1, Ajay J Panchal2


1Assistant Professor, Department of ENT, SMIMER, Surat

2Associate Professor, Department of ENT, SMIMER, Surat


Introduction: Head and neck cancer predominantly relates to tobacco and alcohol abuse. Majority of patients give up addiction on their own after diagnosis. The present study explores the changes in addiction pattern in patients diagnosed with cancer of oral cavity and oropharynx. Material and methods: The patients who were diagnosed with, and received treatment for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer from 2012 to 2017. Results: Study findings showed that majority patients of oropharyngeal cancer were found to be addicted to both tobacco and alcohol, as compared to only tobacco addiction in majority pa-tients of oral cancer. After treatment most patients of oral cancer had given up addiction. Relatively more patients of oropharyngeal cancer continued to smoke and drink after treatment. Only 80 % of all patients in the study were addiction free at 6 months post -treatment. The majority of non -quitters were males, largely uneducated, from rural background, aged 50 years or more. Only 60 % patients were ad-vised to give up addiction. None recalled being offered help to quit addiction in terms of medical treatment and/or counseling. Conclusion: A number of cancer patients continue to be addicted to tobacco and alcohol. They are at risk of poor treatment outcomes and recurrence. There is a need to increase awareness regarding offering treatment for these addictions, which is currently lacking in our health care system.

Keywords: cancer, addiction, tobacco, alcohol, quit