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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1210;

Association of Smoking, Alcohol Use, and Betel Quid Chewing with Epigenetic Aberrations in Cancers

7,* and 8,*
Tissue Bank, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan 33305, Taiwan
Research Center for Industry of Human Ecology, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan 33303, Taiwan
Graduate Institute of Health Industry Technology, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan 33303, Taiwan
Liver Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan 33305, Taiwan
School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
Nutrition Research Center, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
Department of Oral Hygiene, College of Dental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Care, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicoletta Sacchi
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Epigenetics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [253 KB, uploaded 7 June 2017]   |  


Numerous environmental factors such as diet, alcohol use, stress, and environmental chemicals are known to elicit epigenetic changes, leading to increased rates of cancers and other diseases. The incidence of head and neck cancer, one of the most common cancers in Taiwanese males, is increasing: oral cancer and nasopharyngeal carcinoma are ranked fourth and tenth respectively, among the top ten cancers in this group, and a major cause of cancer-related deaths in Taiwanese males. Previous studies have identified smoking, alcohol use, and betel quid chewing as the three major causes of head and neck cancers; these three social habits are commonly observed in Taiwanese males, resulting in an increasing morbidity rate of head and neck cancers in this population. In this literature review, we discuss the association between specific components of betel quid, alcohol, and tobacco, and the occurrence of head and neck cancers, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and urethral cancer. We focus on regulatory mechanisms at the epigenetic level and their oncogenic effects. The review further discusses the application of FDA-approved epigenetic drugs as therapeutic strategies against cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: smoking; alcohol; betel quid; cancer; epigenetics smoking; alcohol; betel quid; cancer; epigenetics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, T.-H.; Hsia, S.-M.; Shih, Y.-H.; Shieh, T.-M. Association of Smoking, Alcohol Use, and Betel Quid Chewing with Epigenetic Aberrations in Cancers. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1210.

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