Oral Cancer – The Two Extremes Posted on February 21, 2011July 10, 2023 by Docturnal In India we often find the roads and walls painted red and the reason for this is nothing but the after effect of chewing a processed form of betel nut a.k.a ‘Ghutka’. Recently the Government of India imposed a ban on the packaging of this addictive substance but it is a little too early to speculate how the overall numbers in consumption might change nevertheless. Some extreme cases reported in parts of India were so bizarre that an individual who consumed a little too much of this substance was shocked to find his tooth brush pierce through his cheeks. I do not have words to explain this horrifying story. Images seen from a recently reported article in one of the leading newspapers were grotesque. This is really not how Mouth Cancer should be, self-imposed to be precise. Someone conducted an experiment and I cannot vouch for this but was tempted to pen it down:: A commercially available packet of the substance was put in a glass of water with a brand new blade. The morning after, the blade was properly rusted and was broken into pieces (sounds a little exaggerated). We often hear about how Coke/Pepsi was used by US Police to clean blood stains on the Road but this experiment is much more thought provoking than the soda cleaning example. I recently took a sabbatical from driving my own vehicle and was commuting via public transportation in Hyderabad/India and was shocked to find out how the city is painted in red and 90% of the Auto Drivers were indulging in this habit while not to forget the frequent pungent breath of this substance from many a men passengers I encountered in these luxury buses being run by the state. Interestingly, women are no exception. [Researchers have found a 225-percent increase in oral cancer cases in the United States from 1974 to 2007]. The other extreme is the linkage between oral sex and large number of oral cancer cases reported in the US among men due to HPV (human papillomavirus).