Head and Neck Program

Head and Neck Cancer Prevention Guidelines

There are several significant risk factors that may contribute to the development of head and neck cancers.

These risk factors include:

  • Tobacco use: Head and neck tumors occur six times more often among cigarette smokers than nonsmokers. Avoid cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff. St. Joseph Hospital offers a Quit Smoking Class. Click here for additional information.
  • Alcohol use: Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for the development of pharyngeal and laryngeal tumors. For individuals who use both tobacco and alcohol, these risk factors appear to be synergistic resulting in an even higher risk.
  • History of pre-cancerous lesions
  • Radiation to the head and neck early in life for conditions such as enlarged tonsils, acne or enlarged thymus.
  • Betle nut use