Oral squamous cell carcinoma in coca chewers from a north region of Argentina: A case series and review of literature

Chewing coca leaves is a habit still practiced in Bolivia, Peru and Argentina. There is scarce evidence in the relationship between this habit and development of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), some authors have found oral epithelial changes in coca chewers. This study aimed to present a case series of patients with a coca chewing habit that developed OSCC, in the absence of risk factors for oral cancer. Patients were evaluated in Hospital Señor del Milagro, Salta, Argentina. None of them had a relevant morbid history and presented intraoral tumors, with an ulcerated surface on the gingivobuccal complex. Coca chewing habit was recorded in all cases. Present cases could start discussions and new lines of researches focusing on the habit of coca leaves chewing as a risk factor for OSCC. It would be very useful to know the underlying mechanisms between this habit and a possible role in oral carcinogenesis.
Coca chewers, Erythroxylon coca, Oral cancer