Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Associated with Arsenic Exposure: A Case Series from Argentina

2020 • Volume 14 • Issue 4

Leonardi, Nicolás; Gilligan, Gerardo Marcelo & Panico, Rene Luis



Many areas of South America are directly affected by Arsenic (As) contaminated groundwater. A high percentage of the water samples taken in multiple areas of Argentina had As concentrations above the WHO level recommended guidelines. This condition was previously associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including different cancers. Long-term As exposure was proposed as a risk factor for Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC). The aim of this study is to present a series cases of Argentine patients diagnosed with OSCC who have consumed water contaminated with As for more than 10 years. Clinical data were obtained from the archive of Clinical Records Histories of the Oral Medicine Department of the Dentistry School, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and Universidad Católica de Córdoba, Argentina. 15 cases of OSCC were included. The male: female sex ratio was 2:1. The average age was 66 years (31-89 years). Regarding location, the gum or edentulous alveolar ridge was the most prevalent site (6/15; 40 %), followed by the tongue margin. The average years of exposure to arsenical waters were 24 years (13 – 40 years of exposure). The majority of the presented cases were non drinkers non smokers. 60 % of the tumors were diagnosed at advanced stages. the epidemiological studies carried out in As-contaminated areas that address oral cancer should always incorporate the record of variables related to As exposure. Patients who live or lived at As-contaminated areas must be regularly followed up for early diagnosis of potentially malignant or malignant lesions. The high frequency of gum cancer among these cases, should raise awareness of periodontic specialists to perform a careful and thorough periodontal examination.

KEY WORDS: arsenic, oral squamous cell carcinoma, risk factors, pollution, groundwater.


How to cite this article

LEONARDI, N.; GILLIGAN G, M. & PANICO R. L. Oral squamous cell carcinoma associated with arsenic exposure: A case series from Argentina. Int. J. Odontostomat., 14(4):596-601, 2020.


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