There's no proven way to prevent throat cancer from occurring. But in order to reduce your risk of throat cancer, you can:

  • Stop smoking or don't start smoking. If you smoke, quit. If you don't smoke, don't start. Stopping smoking can be very difficult, so get some help. Your doctor can discuss the benefits and risks of the many stop-smoking strategies, such as medication, nicotine replacement products and counseling.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all. For women, this means one drink a day. For men, moderate drinking means no more than two drinks a day.
  • Choose a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. The vitamins and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of throat cancer. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Protect yourself from HPV. Some throat cancers are thought to be caused by the sexually transmitted infection human papillomavirus HPV. You can reduce your risk of HPV by limiting your number of sexual partners and using a condom every time you have sex. Also consider the HPV vaccine, which is available to boys, girls, and young women and men.
Sep. 13, 2012