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Guam Cancer Research


  1. Betel nut is chewed by at least 10% (600 million) of the world's population.
  2. Betel nut is the 4th most commonly consumed psychoactive (significant effect against mental processes) drug in the world, following alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine.
  3. Contains alkaloids that are attributed to its addictive nature.
  4. Slaked lime refers to calcium carbonate, naturally found in chalk, limestone, marble, and produced by sedimentation of the shells of small fossilized snails, shellfish, and coral over millions of years.


  1. Classified as a Group 1 carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
  2. A majority of chewers show indications of precancerous clinical conditions such as oral leukoplakia (fig. A), oral erythroplakia (fig. B), or oral submucous fibrosis (fig. C).
  3. Common effects include a sense of wellbeing and dependency.






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