There are many misconceptions about head and neck cancers. Below, find 4 myths debunked by our experts.
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Myth 1: Cigarette smoking doesn’t increase your risk of developing head and neck cancer
Fact: The risk of developing head and neck cancer is 15 times greater for smokers than non-smokers.
Myth 2: Drinking alcohol doesn’t increase your risk of developing head and neck cancer
Fact: 95 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to alcohol and tobacco use. Those who use both alcohol and tobacco have a higher risk for these cancers.
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Myth 3: Oral sex can’t lead to mouth and throat cancer
Fact: An increasing number of young non-smokers have developed mouth and throat cancer due to the human papilloma virus (HPV). Statistics show that up to 25 percent of all mouth and throat cancers can be linked to HPV, which can be transmitted during oral sex.
Myth 4: Most head and neck cancers can’t be prevented
Fact: Not using tobacco products and not drinking alcohol in excess can greatly reduce your risk of developing head and neck cancer. Eating a low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables also can decrease your risk. Most importantly, talk to your doctor about your risk and get screened regularly.