Causes, Prevention, and Early Detection

Home / Centers of Excellence / Head & Neck Cancer / Causes, Prevention, and Early Detection

Causes, Prevention & Early Detection

Head and Neck cancers have multiple causes, but the most prevalent is smoking tobacco. While alcohol consumption in excess is the second leading cause, the combination of smoking and drinking will significantly increase the risk of developing these cancerous cells.

The best practices for head and neck cancer prevention are as follows:

  • Do not smoke cigarettes, cigars, or use chewing tobacco (Snuff, pouches, whole leaf tobacco)
  • Refrain from excess consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Attend regularly scheduled dental exams

Early Detection

With close to 50% of all head and neck cancers being diagnosed at stage 3 or higher, early detection efforts are vital.

  • Routine Dental Exam
    *Communication with dental provider regarding any unexpected or unexplained change is very important
  • Routine Physical Exams
  • Sexual Health and Safe Sex Measures to Prevent HPV
    * Request STD and HPV Screening
  • Users of tobacco and alcohol need to participate in cancer screening through physical exams.