Areca nut and betel quid chewing among South Asian immigrants to Western countries and its implications for oral cancer screening
Citation: Auluck A, Hislop G, Poh C, Zhang L, Rosin MP. Areca nut and betel quid chewing among South Asian immigrants to Western countries and its implications for oral cancer screening. Rural and Remote Health 9: 1118. (Online) 2009. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au
The South Asian community is the largest and one of the fastest growing minority groups in Canada, according to the 2006 census. These immigrants bring to Canada talents and skills that can promote Canada’s economy and cultural diversity, but they also bring lifestyle habits that may lead to serious health issues. Chewing areca nut and betel quid (paan, with and without tobacco) is a known risk factor for oral cancer. This habit is common in the Indo-Canadian population, as evidenced by its sales in local Indian markets and restaurants. In this article, we present an overview of the sociocultural beliefs, knowledge and practices regarding betel quid/areca nut chewing, and discuss its implications for oral cancer screening among this immigrant population.
Key words: betel quid/areca nut chewing, cancer screening, oral health, rural immigrants.
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