The role of vegetable and fruit consumption and other habits on survival following the diagnosis of oral cancer: a prospective study in Spain

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2009 Jan;38(1):31-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Oct 31.


The authors carried out a hospital-based prospective study to evaluate the role of behavioral and clinical risk factors, occurring before and after diagnosis, on the prognosis of 146 patients with newly diagnosed oral cancer using Cox models. High weekly intake of vegetables before and after diagnosis were both associated with lower recurrence rates, longer overall survival and longer oral cancer survival. Diagnostic delay was associated with an increased risk of recurrence and oral cancer mortality. Patients presenting with pharyngeal pain or a mucosal lesion had a longer oral cancer survival than patients presenting with other symptoms. Quitting tobacco and alcohol consumption before and after diagnosis were both associated with a lower recurrence and/or better survival, but the effects were not statistically significant. This study suggests that high consumption of vegetables before and after diagnosis of oral cancer may reduce the risk of recurrence, overall mortality and cancer mortality in oral cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Diet*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Mouth Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Mouth Neoplasms / surgery
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control*
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*