Am I At Risk for Laryngeal Cancer?
Smoking is the single greatest risk factor for laryngeal cancer.
By knowing the risk factors for laryngeal cancer, you can decide what you can and cannot control. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease. Men, African Americans, and people older than age 65 are all at an increased risk for laryngeal cancer. Most risk factors for laryngeal cancer, such as smoking, alcohol abuse, and diet, are things you can control.
I smoke, I used to smoke, or I live with a smoker.
Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke (other people's smoke) increase your risk.
I drink alcohol.
Drinking more than two drinks with alcohol a day increases your risk. If you drink heavily and smoke, your risk may be increased up to 100 times higher than if you did not smoke or drink.
I've had cancer before.
If you have a personal history of head and neck cancer, you have a greater risk of developing laryngeal cancer.
I have a weak immune system.
This cancer is more common in people who have weakened immune systems due to an inherited disease, AIDS, or certain medicines.
I've worked with asbestos or other toxic materials.
People who have been exposed to sulfuric acid mist, nickel, or asbestos have an increased risk of developing laryngeal cancer. Those working around asbestos should follow safety and work rules to avoid inhaling asbestos.