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29 November 2023
Alcohol Dietary exposures Head and neck cancer Tobacco

Launch of IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention Volume 19: Oral Cancer Prevention

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) today launched Volume 19: Oral Cancer Prevention of the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention series. Experts presented key results of this Handbooks volume in a webinar co-organized with the World Health Organization (WHO). The webinar brought together health experts, researchers, clinicians, and survivors to raise awareness of oral cancer, its risk factors, and best strategies to prevent the disease. The event is available online and aims to promote dialogue between survivors, clinicians, and policy-makers.

Oral cancer is the 16th most common cancer type worldwide and is a common cause of cancer death in men across much of South and South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. The main causes of oral cancer worldwide are tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. Smokeless tobacco use and areca nut use are the leading causes in countries where these practices are widely prevalent.

This volume of the IARC Handbooks brings together, for the first time, all the available evidence related to primary and secondary prevention of oral cancer. Primary prevention is defined as interventions that prevent cancer before it develops, and secondary prevention is defined as interventions that detect precancerous lesions, or cancer at a very early stage, by screening and by early diagnosis. In addition, this publication presents background information related to oral cancer, such as the global burden of oral cancer, the prevalence of use of products containing smokeless tobacco or areca nut worldwide, and emerging technologies for oral cancer screening.

Based on the evaluations performed by the Working Group experts, there was sufficient evidence that quitting tobacco smoking, quitting use of areca nut products with or without tobacco, and quitting alcohol consumption decreases the risk of oral cancer; in addition, behavioural interventions in adults are effective in inducing quitting smokeless tobacco use. It was also concluded that screening by clinical oral examination of high-risk people (those exposed to one or more risk factors) may reduce deaths resulting from oral cancer.

View the key findings of Handbooks Volume 19

View the flyer about the event 

View IARC Handbooks Volume 19 

View infographic of the Volume 19 outcomes 

Read more about the IARC Handbooks programme 

Publication status

Published in section: IARC News

Publication date: 29 November, 2023, 15:00

Direct link: https://www.iarc.who.int/news-events/launch-of-iarc-handbooks-of-cancer-prevention-volume-19-oral-cancer-prevention/

© Copyright International Agency on Research for Cancer 2024

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