Throat Cancer Prevention

Throat cancer prevention?

The best recommendation for throat cancer prevention is to stay away from the known preventable causes of throat cancer. Avoiding these things does not guarantee throat cancer prevention. However, it does decrease your risk significantly, as does quitting any of the below as soon as possible:

  • Tobacco use (including smokeless tobacco, cigarettes, etc…)
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Occupational hazards (including asbestos, synthetic fibers, formaldehyde, wood dust, etc…)
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)- The FDA has approved two vaccines to help prevent HPV 16, which is believed to cause certain types of throat cancer: Gardasil® and Cervarix®. Research is ongoing to learn more about their effectiveness in preventing cancer. Here is a link from the National Cancer Institute with more information on HPV vaccines.

Need help quitting tobacco?

Tobacco use is the most well known cause of throat cancer. Quitting today is your best option for throat cancer prevention. We highly recommend for information on proven methods on how to quit dipping for good. Here are some links to other resources that can help you quit and live a healthier life.

Throat cancer screening for throat cancer prevention

Regular visits to your doctor and dentist for checkups and throat cancer screening are important aspects of throat cancer prevention, especially if you are at a high risk for developing the disease. Throat cancer screening involves testing for throat cancer in a patient with no known symptoms. Because throat cancer is not very common, throat cancer screening is not a usual part of a doctor’s health assessment. Throat cancer screening requires medical specialists and a number of very complex tests and to date there are no simple, non-invasive ways to test for the disease. However, throat cancer screening is an imperative part of throat cancer prevention for those who partake in any or all of the known causes of throat cancer. Let you doctor know what risk factors affect you and he or she will recommend the best method to screen or look for signs of the disease.

If you begin to experience any throat cancer symptoms be sure to have a dentists or doctor check and test for throat cancer. A basic check will involve your doctor using his hands to check for any lumps, swelling or any other abnormal problems on your neck. If something seems to be questionable you will more than likely be referred to a specialist for more tests. Regular assessments by your doctor will help you catch any potential problems early. For many people, having a doctor take a look could be a matter of life or death. Early detection of throat cancer usually involves the least invasive surgeries, better throat cancer treatment options and ultimately the best survival rates. Even though throat cancer screening is not common practice don’t ignore any signs you may see or feel.

While regular throat cancer screening is not very common in the United States, it is becoming more common in some places, like China, for patient’s to be screened for specific types of throat cancer common to that population. Most people are tested because their blood shows evidence of Epson Barr Virus (EBV) or they have a family history of this type of cancer.

Want more information on throat cancer?

The following links will give you a better understanding of the different aspects of the disease.


Head and Neck Cancers. National Cancer Institute. Accessed January 9, 2012

Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer. American Cancer Society. Accessed January 19, 2012.

Nasopharyngeal Cancer. American Cancer Society. Accessed January 19, 2012.

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    All content on this site is for general information purposes only. It is not and should not be considered medical advice or used in place of the advice of a medical professional. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other professional for any medical condition.