Background: Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is considered a prophase symptom in patients with specific cancers. This study assessed the association between RAS and subsequent onset of cancer based on a nationwide population-based database in Taiwan. Materials and Methods: We selected study participants from the National Health Insurance Research Database from January 2000 to December 2008. Patients in the non-RAS cohort were matched to case study patients at a 1:1 ratio through frequency matching. All participants were followed up for at least 5 years, and those who received cancer diagnoses during follow-up were identified. Results: Among 52 307 patients with and 52 304 patients without RAS, the combined hazard ratio (HR) of all subsequent cancer cases was 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.25-1.35, P = 0). RAS diagnosis was associated with risk for cancers of the head and neck (aHR = 2, 95% CI: 1.8-2.3), colon (aHR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.1-1.4), liver (aHR = 1.1, 95% CI: 1-1.3), pancreas (aHR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1-1.7), skin (aHR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2-1.7), breast (aHR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.1-1.4), and prostate (aHR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.3-1.8), as well as hematologic cancers (aHR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.3-1.9). A higher risk was observed for male patients (aHR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.28-1.42) than for female patients (aHR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.18-1.31) with RAS. Conclusions: RAS was associated with specific cancers. Susceptible RAS patients should be screened for specific cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4104-4114
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Cancer
  • Case-control
  • Gender
  • Recurrent aphthous stomatitis
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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