Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are among the most common cancers in the world. Many risk factors may increase the chance of developing GI cancers. In recent years, a number of epidemiological studies have reported evidence of carcinogenic effects of opium in humans. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between opium use and GI cancer. Materials and methods: This case-control study was performed on 95 patients with GI cancer and 190 healthy individuals (matched for age, sex, place of residence, and smoking) in Rafsanjan, Iran, in 2018. Diet information, as well as history of smoking, the use of hookah, opium, and its derivatives was collected using a checklist in interview sessions. Conditional logistic regression was performed to investigate the proposed relationship and to estimate odds ratios (OR). Results: After adjusting the confounding variables, the use of opium was significantly associated with an increased risk of GI cancer development (OR = 5.95, 95% CI: 2.4-14.9). Also, a dose-response association was found between the cumulative use of opium and the risk of GI cancers. Consumption of fruit and vegetables reduced the risk of developing GI cancers in opium users (OR = 4.9 and 4.7, respectively). Conclusion: Opium, in the form used among drug users in this area, can lead to an increased risk of GI cancers. Fruit and vegetables have a protective and modifying effect on the risk of GI cancer development caused by opium consumption.


Gastrointestinal cancer, opium, case-control study

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