Even with extensive research, doctors have not yet discovered why cancer develops in the body. Researchers have indicated certain causes of oropharyngeal cancer that increases the risk that patients will develop cancerous tumors. It’s important to note that these factors just increase a patient’s risk. It does not mean the patient will get the cancer with an increased risk. Likewise, patients with low risk may still develop oropharyngeal cancer.
These are some of the known causes of oropharyngeal cancer:
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Alcohol consumption
- Chronic irritation (often from ill-fitting dental appliances)
- A diet that lacks fruits and vegetables
- HPV infection
- Being male (males are two times as likely as females
For those with an increased risk, it’s important to get frequent screenings and exams to detect cancer in the early stages.