Risk FactorsWhile most cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx are attributable to the use of '''tobacco products''', [https://www-doh.state.nj.us/doh-shad/query/builder/njbrfs/AlcoholChrnHvy/AlcoholChrnHvyCrude11_.html heavy alcohol use] is also a risk factor for the development of head and neck cancers and its effects are independent of those of tobacco use. According to the [https://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/hp/oral-prevention-pdq#_122_toc National Cancer Institute (NCI)], the risk for current cigarette smokers is about tenfold that of never-smokers while the risk for people who drink five or more alcoholic beverages per day is approximately fivefold compared with nondrinkers, and the risk is dose related in both cases. Moreover, when '''both risk factors''' are present, the risk of cancer is about two to three times greater for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers than the simple multiplicative effect, with risks for persons who both smoke and drink heavily approximately 35-fold that of persons who both never smoke and never drink.
Other significant risk factors identified by the NCI include '''oral infection with HPV 16''', which confers about a 15-fold increase in risk of oropharyngeal cancer relative to individuals without oral HPV 16 infection. [Last reviewed: 1/27/20]
Related Risk Factors Indicators: