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Head and neck cancer

Male Head on Black Vector GearsDrinking alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of developing cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract (the head and neck).

It is estimated that around a third of cancers of the mouth (oral cavity) and the upper throat (pharynx) are caused by alcohol. One in four cancers of the voice box (larynx) and one in five of cancers of the food pipe (oesophagus) are also caused by alcohol.

The most common signs of the disease are ulcers, sores, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and unexplained pain in the mouth or ear.

Reducing the risk

You can significantly cut the risk of developing head and neck cancers, as well as other cancers like breast cancer by reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.

If you’re a smoker, you should try your best to stop. Combined with regular alcohol consumption, smoking significantly increases your cancer risk. Alcohol can act as a solvent, enabling harmful chemicals to enter the cells that line the digestive tract and also slow down these cells’ ability to repair damage caused by the chemicals in tobacco.

Learn more about how alcohol affects your health and watch the video below from our friends at Balance

 


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