7 Major Risk Factors for Head and Neck Cancers

7 Major Risk Factors for Head and Neck Cancers
September 03 13:03 2021

Some factors increase your chances of developing different health complications, including various cancers. Some things like smoking, have been notoriously known to be risk factors for many cancers and other health conditions. However, risk factors may not directly cause cancer but will undoubtedly influence the development of the disease. The Flemington head and neck cancers specialists help patients understand their risk factors to help them make more informed health and lifestyle choices. Look at the following common factors that can increase your chances of developing head and neck cancers.

Alcohol and Tobacco

Tobacco is a popular and vital head and neck cancer risk factor to understand. Research has found that smokers are at a much higher risk for cancers than nonsmokers. The cancers are rare in people who have never smoked, and most patients diagnosed with the cancers have a history of smoking. Chewing tobacco increases your risks for mouth cancer, and the more you smoke cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, the greater your risks for head and neck cancers. Additionally, if you smoke and take alcohol, your chances for cancer are multiplied.

Unhealthy Nutrition

Although the exact link between poor diet and head and neck cancers is not well known, research has found that it may impact your chances of developing the cancers. Drinking alcohol heavily causes vitamin deficiencies, which might explain why it is linked to increased cancer risks. Therefore, malnutrition can as well cause vitamin deficiencies increasing your chances for the condition.

Genetic Syndromes

You might inherit some defects in specific genes from your family members that have a very high risk of head and neck cancers. Specific syndromes such as Dyskeratosis Congenital, and Fanconi Anemia mainly increase your chances of throat cancer, such as hypopharynx.

Human Papillomavirus

This group of related viruses is referred to as papillomaviruses due to the papilloma growth caused by some. While some of the human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cancers of the vagina, cervix, vulva, anus, and penis, other viruses seem to factor in some throat cancers such as hypopharynx cancer and tonsil cancer.

Workplace Exposures

The nature of your work might increase your chances of head and throat cancers. Research has found that long and intense exposure to paint perfumes and wood dust can increase your chances of developing cancers. Additionally, being exposed to certain chemicals in the plastics, petroleum, metalworking, and textile industries increases your risks for hypopharyngeal cancer and laryngeal cancer.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

This occurs when the stomach acid comes up into the esophagus and often causes heartburn. Increasing your chances of developing cancer of the esophagus. Additionally, research is ongoing to evaluate if there is a connection between hypopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers.

Age, Gender, and Race

Most head and neck cancers take many years to develop and are not common to young people. Most people diagnosed with these cancers are mainly over 65 years of age. Also, cancers are more common in men than women, mainly due to other risk factors mentioned earlier, smoking, and alcohol abuse. Additionally, cancers are more familiar to whites and African Americans than to Asians and Latinos.

Have your head and neck cancers risk factors evaluated by the highly skilled Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC, team. Book an appointment to discover how you can make informed lifestyle and dietary decisions to minimize your risks.

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