ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

6 Everyday Things You’re Doing That May Cause Throat Cancer


It comes to no surprise that one of the major causes of throat cancer is smoking. There are 70 carcinogens present in a cigarette stick. These are few in comparison to the total number of chemicals present which amount to 4000. Some active components in cigarettes that directly cause cancer are arsenic, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, nickel, lead, acetaldehyde, isoprene, and styrene. Some of these compounds are used for preservation of artifacts, ingredients for cleaning agents, and materials used for making packaging products.



2。Drinking Alcohol

The American Cancer Society attributes a raised risk for nasopharyngeal or throat cancer to drinking alcohol. It’s also known to cause other types of cancer. The byproducts of alcohol found in beer and wine include acetaldehyde, which is a compound also found in tobacco products. Acetaldehyde damages DNA and may be a precursor for cancer cells. Alcohol coming in direct contact with cells at the throat can cause them to mutate into cancer cells.



3。Eating Red Meat, Fish and Eggs

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found out that consumption of meat and poultry products increased the risk for head and neck cancer. The strongest candidate for nasopharyngeal cancer was fish, specifically those cooked in Cantonese-style. Eggs have high cholesterol content that promote the production of secondary sex hormones which can cause cancer that may metastasize to the throat.



4。Staying indoors too long

This might seem impossible but staying indoors can actually cause you to develop throat cancers. The culprit behind it is a chemical called radon. This odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas leaks from all over your house! This is because radon is stored in tiny pockets inside rocks or granite, which is a common construction material for buildings and houses. It works exactly the same way as alcohol, and causes mutagenic changes to the throat cells upon inhalation. It’s a wake up call to get out more often.



5。Using lip balm

If you’re a fan of beauty products, or are simply using the occasional chapstick during dry weather, then you may be surprised to find out your lip balm or chapstick have compounds known to cause oral and throat cancers. The ingredient responsible for the higher risk of throat cancer is called benzophenone, and can be found in sunglasses, food packaging, and other household items.



6。Drinking soda

It’s not just the high amount of sugar that can potentially cause metabolic disorders and increase your risk for cancer. Drinking soda raises your stomach’s acid and can potentially cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD) that can be a precursor for throat, stomach, and colon cancer. The gagging and vomiting that results from GERD will damage your esophageal lining. A damaged esophagus is usually a candidate for throat cancers.



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