Although the specific cause of throat cancer is not known, several risk factors have been identified, including tobacco use, which is the strongest single risk factor for developing throat cancer, and alcohol use.
A number of factors increase the risk of developing throat cancer. Not all people with risk factors will get throat cancer. Risk factors for throat cancer include:
Age over 50 yearsAlcohol abuseChewing betel quid (paan), a popular stimulant in Southeast AsiaDiets low in vegetables and fruitsDrinking mate, a tea-like stimulant popular in South AmericaEpstein-Barr virus (EBV) infectionExposure to wood dust, typically in the workplaceHuman papilloma virus (HPV) infectionMale genderPlummer-Vinson syndrome (condition related to chronic low levels of iron in which web-like tissue grows at the top of the esophagus)Smoking or use of other tobacco productsYou may be able to lower your risk of throat cancer by:
Avoiding betel quid (paan)Avoiding mateEating plenty of vegetables and fruitsQuitting use of tobacco products, including cigarettes and smokeless tobaccoReducing your alcohol intakeUsing safety precautions when exposed to wood dust