(Cancer, Throat; Cancer, Oropharyngeal; Oropharyngeal Cancer; Nasopharyngeal Cancer; Cancer, Nasopharyngeal)
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- Smoking or use of any tobacco products
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Family history
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Diet low in fruits and vegetables
- Suppressed immune system
Infections caused by certain viruses such as:
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Radiation exposure
- Excess consumption of cured meats or fish
- Marijuana use
Exposure to certain materials such as in:
- Nickel refining
- Working with textile fibers
- Sore throat
- Feeling that something is caught in the throat
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Voice changes or hoarseness
- Change in voice quality
- Pain in the head, throat, or neck
- Lump in the neck
- Unexplained weight loss
- Coughing blood
- External radiation therapy—radiation directed at the tumor from a source outside the body
- Internal radiation therapy—radioactive materials placed into the throat in or near the cancer cells
- Don't smoke or use tobacco products. If you do smoke or use tobacco products, talk to your doctor about how to quit.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation. Moderate alcohol intake is 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
- Eat a healthful diet, one that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- See your doctor and dentist regularly for check-ups and cancer screening.
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
BC Cancer Agency http://www.bccancer.bc.ca
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Forastiere AA. Head and neck cancer: overview of recent developments and future directions. Semin Oncol. 2000 Aug;27(4 Suppl 8):1-4.
Forastiere AA, Trotti A. Radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy: a strategy that improves locoregional control and survival in oropharyngeal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999 91(24):2065-2066.
General information about oropharyngeal cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/oropharyngeal/patient. Updated July 3, 2014. Accessed September 30, 2014.
Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003128-pdf.pdf. Accessed September 30, 2014.
- Reviewer: Igor Puzanov, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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