As many as 90 percent of head and neck cancers arise after prolonged exposure to specific
factors. Use of tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco or snuff) and alcoholic
beverages are closely linked with cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box and tongue.
(In adults who neither smoke nor drink, cancer of the mouth and throat are nearly
nonexistent.) Prolonged exposure to sunlight is linked with cancer of the lip and
is also an established major cause of skin cancer. All of the symptoms and signs described
here can occur with no cancer present. In fact, many times complaints of this type
will be due to some other condition. But you can't tell without an examination. So,
if they do occur, see your doctor–and be sure.
Remember when found early, most cancers in the head and neck can be cured with relatively
little difficulty. Cure rates for these cancers could be greatly improved if people
would seek medical advice as soon as possible. So play it safe. If you think you have
one of the warning signs of head and neck cancer, see your doctor right away.
Be safe and see your doctor early! And practice health habits which will make these
diseases unlikely to occur.