Carolinas HealthCare System

As with any type of cancer, there is no known way to completely prevent the disease. However, taking certain steps will help lower your chance of developing it:

  • Stop using tobacco products – 85 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to them. It’s never too late to quit.
  • Avoid smoking marijuana.
  • Skip the alcohol. Frequent and heavy consumption of alcohol raises your risk.
  • Use lip balm with built-in sunscreen.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the risk of head and neck cancers. Personal protection during sexual activity and limiting the number of sexual partners  reduces the odds of HPV infection.
  • Make sure your dentures fit properly. Any gaps can trap tobacco and alcohol – and their cancer-causing agents. Clean them every night, and have them checked by a dentist regularly.