Mouth and throat cancers are types of head and neck cancers that can affect various parts of the oral cavity and throat. These cancers often start in the squamous cells lining the inside of the mouth, throat, and other related structures. The most common types include oral cavity cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, laryngeal cancer, and hypopharyngeal cancer.
Risk Factors: Several factors can increase the risk of developing mouth and throat cancers, including:
- Tobacco use: Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, as well as using smokeless tobacco, significantly increases the risk.
- Alcohol consumption: Heavy alcohol use is a known risk factor, and the risk is even higher when combined with tobacco use.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV): Infection with certain strains of HPV, particularly HPV-16 and HPV-18, is linked to an increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer.
- Age: The risk of developing these cancers increases with age.
- Gender: Men are more likely than women to develop these cancers.
- Poor oral hygiene: Chronic irritation or inflammation due to poor dental care may contribute.