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throat cancer

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.



Did you find the information useful? If so, continue reading our posts.



For details of our ENT services, diagnosis, and treatment, please consult our ENT specialist.




HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

Who’s Likely to Get Throat Cancer?

Throat cancer is a scary ENT disease, not only because it’s the Big C but also because it can take away the capacity to speak! Take note that it occurs in the pharynx (throat) as well as in the larynx (voice box) or in the tonsils, all of which are important in the generation of sound.


Some people have higher risk for getting throat cancer. Let’s take a look at these risk factors as well as the symptoms of this ENT disease to look out for.



Risk Factors

Keep in mind that belonging to one or more of these risk factors doesn’t automatically mean that you will get cancer, 100%. Instead, these factors will increase your risk of getting the Big C because of the accumulated damage inflicted on the throat.


  • The use of tobacco products including chewing and smoking tobacco because it has nicotine and other substances that compromise the health of the tissues in the throat.
  • The excessive use of alcohol because of its adverse effects on the body, especially over a prolonged period.
  • The presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, has also been shown to increase the risk of throat cancer.
  • The untreated diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has also been shown as a risk factor in throat cancer.


Surprisingly, a diet with insufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables can also increase the risk of throat cancer! But this may not be surprising considering that a healthy body and, thus, a healthy immune system may decrease the risk of getting any type of cancer.



Signs and Symptoms

The specific location where the malignant growth occurs largely determines the symptoms that can be experienced. There’s also the matter of lumps in the neck or throat being an indication of an upper respiratory infection. The lumps may be caused by enlarged lymph nodes fighting off the infection, such as strep throat, followed by their return to their normal size once the infection clears.


But if a lump persists without the presence of an infection or even after the infection has been treated may be a warning sign of cancer.  The lump may or may not be accompanied by a thickness or swelling in the neck.


If you have the following symptoms along with a lump in your neck, then you should seek your doctor’s opinion. Early diagnosis and treatment is key in successfully overcoming throat cancer.

  • Difficulty in swallowing that persists for a few weeks without reasonable cause
  • Vocal changes like hoarseness
  • Feeling of food being lodged in the throat even after swallowing
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Mouth sores that either doesn’t heal with medication or easily bleeds
  • Red- and white-colored patches on the tongue, inside of cheek and/or gums
  • Feeling of numbness in the mouth or tongue
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Pain in the ears


Your ENT doctor will perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. Keep calm, nonetheless, as throat cancer has several effective treatment protocols when administered properly and promptly.


Since ENT problem is quite different from case to case, it is suggested to consult an ENT doctor for the appropriate ENT services and treatment.



HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

Everything About Throat Cancer – Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

Everything About Throat Cancer – Symptoms, Types and Treatment


Throat cancer is a broad term that refers to all types of cancer occurring in the throat or pharynx, voice box or larynx, and the tonsils. In medical terminology, the throat begins at the very back of the nose and ends at the neck. Since the voice box is so near it is also regarded as a part of throat cancer.


Throat cancer may also affect the epiglottis, the flap of tissue sitting atop the larynx and functions to prevent food and liquids from entering the trachea. Throat cancer also affects the tonsils. Continue reading

Throat Disorders You Should Not Ignore

Throat Disorders You Should Not Ignore


Throat problems are not exactly rare. In fact, millions of people all over the world are affected by some sort of throat disorder. While most throat problems are harmless, there are those that must really be diagnosed and evaluated by an ENT specialist to ensure that the condition doesn’t worsen and lead to life threatening illnesses.


Here are some problems you should not ignore: Continue reading

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