Diet and cancers of the larynx and hypopharynx: the IARC multi-center study in southwestern Europe.Cancer Causes Control. 1996 Mar; 7(2):240-52.CC
The main causes of cancer of the larynx and hypopharynx are smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. However, for these as well as for other cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract, some dietary components, mainly low consumption of fruit and vegetables, have been observed to be associated with increased cancer risk. We report results from a multicenter case-control study carried out in six regions of Europe located in northern Spain, northern Italy, Switzerland, and France. A total of 1,147 males with cancer (cases) and 3,057 population controls were interviewed on usual diet, lifelong drinking and smoking habits, and occupational history. Cancer cases had histologically verified epidermoid carcinomas. The cancers were classified in two anatomic sub-entities: the epilarynx (hypopharynx and upper part of the larynx), which enters into contact with the bolus and the air; and the endolarynx, through which air and tobacco smoke pass, but not the bolus. A previous report from this study found that alcohol drinking presents a greater risk factor for cancer of the epilarynx than for cancer of the endolarynx. The main results regarding diet indicate that high intake of fruit, vegetables, vegetable oil, fish, and low intake of butter and preserved meats were associated with reduced risk of both epilaryngeal and endolaryngeal cancers, after adjustment for alcohol, tobacco, socioeconomic status, and non-alcohol energy intake. Among nutrients, a reduced risk was found for high intake of vitamins C and E and for a high polyunsaturated/saturated fatty acids (P/S) ratio. While these variables are relevant in scoring nutritional behaviour, it remains unresolved whether the biologic properties of these nutrients play a role in the apparent protective effect.