What causes Cancers of the Head and Neck?
Smokeless tobacco use like chewing or snuff and alcohol are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers. People who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk of developing these cancers. Paan (betel quid) has been strongly associated oral cancer. In cases who do not have above mentioned habits, poor oral hygiene and jagged teeth may cause cancers of the oral cavity. Cancer may develop in presence of white patch or oral submucosal fibrosis. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, especially HPV- 11 and 16, is a risk factor for some types of head and neck cancers, particularly oropharyngeal cancers that involve the tonsils or the base of the tongue. Occupational exposure to wood dust is a risk factor for nasopharyngeal cancer. Industrial exposure to wood or nickel dust or formaldehyde is a risk factor for cancers of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity.
Dr. Arsheed .H.Hakeem
Consultant Head and Neck Oncologist/Surgeon
Apollo Cancer Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.