• alcoholis;
  • esophageal cancer;
  • saliva;
  • Streptococcus anginosus

Chronic alcohol consumption is known to be a major risk factor for cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract. The incidence of esophageal cancer (4.4%) in alcoholics is reported to be much higher than that in the Japanese population as a whole (0.0001%). This suggests the presence of specific factors in chronic alcohol consumption-related carcinogenesis. Recently, data showing a significant correlation between Streptococcus anginosus and carcinogenesis in the upper aerodigestive tract have been reported. In this study, the ratio of S. anginosus to oral bacteria in the saliva of 38 alcoholic patients was investigated to determine if there is an association between alcoholic patients and S. anginosus infection. The level of S. anginosus in the saliva from 22 healthy people, 41 esophageal cancer patients, 32 gastritis patients, and 24 periodontitis patients was also investigated and compared to the level in alcoholic patients. In the saliva from esophageal cancer patients, the level of S. anginosus was not significantly different from that of healthy people. The levels of S. anginosus in periodontitis and gastritis patients were also similar. In alcoholics, however, there was an extremely high level of S. anginosus, suggesting that they, rather than healthy people and general esophageal cancer patients, have a high risk for S. anginosus infection.