Risk Factors
  • Age over 40
  • Male sex
  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Oral lichen planus (a chronic autoimmune disease manifesting as lacy white patches in the mouth or throat)
  • Human papillomavirus infection, especially in oropharyngeal cancers
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection, especially in nasopharyngeal cancers
  • Southern Chinese or South Asian ancestry, primarily in nasopharyngeal cancers
  • Diet low in fruits and vegetables/antioxidants (oropharyngeal/hypopharyngeal)
  • Plummer-Vinson syndrome (hypopharyngeal cancer)
  • Drinking matÈ, a stimulant drink common in South America (oropharyngeal cancer) Leukoplakia (white patches in the mouth or throat) (oropharyngeal cancer)
  • Erythroplakia (red patches in the mouth or throat) (oropharyngeal cancer)
  • Chewing betel quid, a stimulant commonly used in parts of Asia (oropharyngeal cancer)