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‘Three persons die of oral cancer daily’

Three Sri Lankans die of oral cancer daily and consuming arecanuts such as varieties, babul, beeda and pampara has increased among schoolchildren and youth, Consultant Oncologists and Consultant Oral and Maxillo-facial surgeons said.

They were addressing a media seminar held at the Health Promotion Bureau in Colombo yesterday.

Annually around 2,500 oral cancer patients are detected from Sri Lanka and it is the most common cancer among Sri Lankan males, he said.

Thirteen percent of cancer patients suffer from oral cancer and the risk of developing oral cancer is 60 times high among the persons who chew betel with areca-nut and tobacco.

A new deheth wattiya was introduced without areca-nut, tobacco and lime but not even 50 percent of the users have that healthy product, they said.

Some are reluctant to accept that areca-nut and tobacco cause oral cancers. In every six second, one dies due to the use of tobacco, they said.