Throat cancers are closely linked to smoking. Not everyone with throat cancer smokes. But if you do smoke, now is the time to stop because:
- Smoking makes treatment less effective.
- Smoking makes it harder for your body to heal after surgery.
- Smoking increases your risk of getting another cancer in the future.
Stopping smoking can be very difficult. And it's that much harder when you're trying to cope with a stressful situation, such as a cancer diagnosis. Your doctor can discuss all of your options, including medications, nicotine replacement products and counseling.
Quit drinking alcohol
Alcohol, particularly when combined with smoking or chewing tobacco, greatly increases the risk of throat cancer. If you drink alcohol, stop now. This may help reduce your risk of a second cancer. Stopping drinking may also help you better tolerate your throat cancer treatments.
Sep. 13, 2012
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..X0001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Head and neck cancers. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Laryngeal cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/laryngeal/patient. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Hypopharyngeal cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/hypopharyngeal/patient. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Oropharyngeal cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/oropharyngeal/patient. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- What you need to know about cancer of the larynx. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/larynx. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Erbitux (prescribing information). Branchburg, N.J.: ImClone LLC; 2012. http://www.erbitux.com/main.aspx. Accessed Aug. 16, 2012.
- Freedman ND, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and head and neck cancer risk in a large United States prospective cohort study. International Journal of Cancer. 2008;122:2330.
- Deng GE, et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: Complementary therapies and botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. 2009;7:85.
- HPV vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/vaccine.html. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.