Khat and oral cancer

J Laryngol Otol. 1991 Aug;105(8):643-5. doi: 10.1017/s0022215100116913.


Oral cancers in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia have been observed to occur mostly among patients who have been long-term khat users. In a survey that reviewed cancers for the past two years there were 28 head and neck cancer patients, 10 of whom presented with a history of having chewed khat. One of these was a case of metastatic cervical lymph node and unknown primary, one was a parotid tumour, and the remaining eight presented with oral cancers. All were non-smoking khat chewers and all of them had used it over a period of 25 years or longer. We conclude that this strong correlation between khat chewing and oral cancer warrants attention.

MeSH terms

  • Catha
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Parotid Neoplasms / etiology
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*


  • Plant Extracts