A risk factor is simply something with the images that increase your chance of getting a disease. A risk factor works by increasing your chances of conducting cancers. It is, therefore, necessary to avoid the risk factors. The following are some of the risk factors that are associated with head or neck cancer. They can be categorized into two, major and minor risk factors.    

Major Risk Factors 

1. Tobacco 

This is a major risk factor for head and neck cancer. Tobacco is not only found in cigarettes, but it is also present in cigars, pipes, and snuff. Research shows that a great percentage of people who use tobacco have a higher risk of being affected by these two types of cancers. Tobacco interferes with prognosis and thus reduces the chances of recovering. You should also be careful because secondary consumption of tobacco can put you in a risk of getting cancer.     

Head and neck cancer risk factors

2. Alcohol 

Higher intake of alcohol is known to cause different types of cancers. This includes head and neck, pharynx, larynx, mouth and esophagus cancer. When alcohol reaches the liver, it is converted into acetaldehyde which is a major cause of cancer. The conversion can also take place in the mouth and the gut due to the presence of bacteria. When tobacco and cigarette are combined, the risk will even be higher.  

Other Factors 

3. Age  

Older people with an age of above 40 years are at a higher risk of being affected by head and neck cancer. This is because their immune system and the cells are becoming weaker.     

4. Gender 

Speaking of gender, men are at high risk of head and neck cancer compared to women. The reason behind this is that men tend to use alcohol and tobacco at a higher rate.     

5. Human papillomavirus 

Medical research states that people with HPV are at a higher risk of these two types of cancers. This virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected person. This can be prevented by vaccination.     

6. Weakened immune system 

The strong immune system means the ability to fight against the disease. A strong immune system, therefore, reduces the chances of acquiring head and neck cancer. On the other hand, increases the risk to these diseases.     

7. Poor nutrition 

A balanced diet is important for our general health. Poor nutrition is linked to many diseases such as kwashiorkor, marasmus and even cancers. For instance deficiency in vitamin A and B can lead to head and neck cancers.     

8. Environmental inhalants 

This includes things like sawdust, wood dust, radon, soot, vinyl chloride, asbestos, ultraviolet rays, aflatoxins and agricultural chemicals among others. When inhaled, they might increase the risk of head and neck cancers.     

The above is the head and neck cancer risk factors. They are known to increase your chances of conducting the disease. Avoiding them will reduce the chances of head and neck cancer.

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