HEAD AND NECK CANCER GUIDE
Head and Neck Cancer Causes
In the past, the development of head and neck cancer has been linked to tobacco and alcohol consumption. However, in recent years, the development of some forms of head and neck cancer has been linked to infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV infection is extremely common, but only a small percentage of affected people develop cancer. This is because the immune system usually removes the infection.
The vast majority of patients with certain types of head and neck cancer, 85% or more, have a history of alcohol, smoking, or both. Other possible causes include exposure to sunlight, previous exposure to X-rays in the head and neck, certain viral infections, inappropriate dental appliances, chronic candidiasis, etc.
There are a number of risk factors associated with head and neck cancer. The main risk factors are alcohol and tobacco. Other risk factors include:
- viruses including human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein-Barr virus;
- gender – men are 3 times more exposed to the risk of head and neck cancer;
- poor oral hygiene;
- exposure to chemicals such as asbestos, solvents, etc .;
- low immunity;
- chronic candidiasis, etc.