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What Are the Risk Factors for Throat Cancer?

Risk factors are things or conditions that can increase your chances of developing a certain type of cancer. Different cancers have varying risk factors; some are changeable, while others are not. One can quit smoking to lower their possibility of getting throat cancer, but they cannot do anything about their genetics and family history of cancer. 

However, do not panic, as risk factors alone do not guarantee whether you will get the disease. Various people get throat cancer without having any of the risk factors, while some people do not get the disease even when several factors apply to them. If you suspect you have the condition, visit an expert for fort worth throat cancer without wasting time. 

Risk factors for throat cancer 

  • Tobacco. 

If you smoke or consume tobacco in other ways, you have a high risk of developing throat cancer. Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, vapes, e-cigarettes, snuff, etc., come under this category. The carcinogens (particles that cause cancer) present in tobacco can harm the cells and genetic material in the throat and cause cancerous developments over time. Statistics show that about 85% of throat cancer patients consume tobacco in one form or another. 

  • Age. 

Another common risk factor for throat cancer is age. As with most other cancers, the chances of developing throat cancer are higher in people over 40. The risk increases with time due to various factors, such as long-term tobacco use and uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells due to late disease detection. That is why quitting tobacco and recognizing the signs as early as possible is recommended. 

  • HPV infection. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses. There are various types of HPV viruses, and certain types can lead to the development of cancers, such as throat, cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, etc. They can also cause non-cancerous issues in the body. There have been an increasing number of HPV virus cases causing throat cancer. 

  • Race/ethnicity. 

Research has found that Black and White people are more likely to get throat cancer than Asian and Hispanic people. While there is no specific known reason why that is, the possible factors may be genetics, exposure to risk factors, and other socioeconomic factors. However, just because statistics say Black and White people have a higher risk does not mean Asian individuals do not get the disease. 

  • Family history. 

While having a family history of cancer does not mean you will experience the same, it does increase your risks. If you have a first-degree relative, such as your mother or father, who has had throat cancer, you should be alert about your health.