The roles of tobacco, alcohol, and diet in the etiology of upper alimentary and respiratory tract cancers

G. David McCoy, Stephen S. Hecht, Ernst L. Wynder

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34 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper reviews the epidemiological evidence associating alcohol and tobacco consumption as well as diet as risk factors for upper alimentary and respiratory tract cancer. The possible association of alcohol-related nutritional deficiencies (especially zinc and vitamin A) in this process is discussed. Experimental studies on the metabolism and carcinogenicity of N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR) and N′-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), two cyclic nitrosamines which are potential environmental carcinogens, are presented, and it is shown that microsomes isolated from hamsters consuming ethanol are able to perform the initial metabolic step (α-hydroxylation) at greater rates than similar preparations from control animals. We conclude that increased attention should be paid to the possibility that alcohol-related deficiencies in micronutrients are a contributing factor in the etiology of upper alimentary and respiratory tract cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-629
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive medicine
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1980

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
by National Cancer Institute Grant No. CA 12376. UniversityiEnviro Control Conference on Esophageal and Prostatic cosponsored by the American Health Foundation, October 23, 1979,

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