Causes Of Laryngeal Cancer To Watch For

Cancer refers to a variety of maladies associated with abnormal cells dividing uncontrollably in one part of the body. Although the specific causes of cancer vary between types, most have associated risk factors documented by scientific research and case-by-case studies. It’s not known whether each risk factor is an independent cause or whether the potential to get cancer depends on prolonged exposure to multiple risk factors. Reducing risk factors automatically reduces the chance of getting cancer. Laryngeal cancer, a throat cancer affecting the larynx, has its corresponding causes. Here are five to watch out for.

Poor Nutrition

Sound nutrition is one of the simplest and most effective forms of preventative medicine. The United States government states the twentieth century marked a decline in infectious disease rates accompanying a sharp rise in chronic diet-related diseases, such as laryngeal cancer. The American Cancer Society, citing the World Cancer Research Fund, reports twenty percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States correspond to body fatness, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition. As a general rule, strive to eat more whole, plant-based foods and try to avoid fast food. Restrict intake of processed meat and red meat and scale back your sugar consumption as well. The detailed connection between a healthy diet and reduced cancer risk isn’t clear. Prevailing theories suggest proper nutrition enables your body to maintain optimal physiological conditions that prevent the onset of diet-related malignancies. Presumably, a greater reliance on whole foods prevents consumption of widely used food additives that are probably carcinogenic, such as nitrates and nitrites.

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Immune System Issues


Two types of immune system issues cause or occur with laryngeal cancer: autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiencies. Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, cause your body to mistakenly attack itself, and immunodeficiencies denote the immune system’s inability to protect the body from infection owing to an immuno-compromising agent, such as HIV. Evidence indicates the risk of laryngeal cancer is three times higher among individuals who are HIV+. Similarly, lupus increases the risk of several types of cancer, including laryngeal cancer. Even if you are disease-free, your risk may be elevated through supplementation of any immuno-compromising agent, including medications that inadvertently lower your immunity to viruses. Lowered immunity to papillomaviruses and subsequent infection are also linked with cancer of the larynx.

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Exposure To Toxins


Laryngeal cancer is an upper aerodigestive tract cancer whose underlying causes include exposure to toxins through repeated inhalation. The toxins are sulphuric acid mist, isopropyl alcohol, nickel, formaldehyde, and asbestos. Coal as a fuel source, paint fumes, as well as soot, coal, and wood dust are other causes, especially when exposure is regular, at high levels and span over a long time. Many of the toxins on the list are most common to industrial applications and certain occupations, such as construction, contracting, and mining. However, proximity to toxic air pollutants for long periods in any given setting is just as risky. To limit your exposure to airborne toxins, the American Lung Association suggests you limit outdoor exercise, consume less energy at home, stop burning wood and trash, and use electric or hand-powered lawn equipment.

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Genetic Conditions


Genetic conditions leading to laryngeal cancer are hereditary and the most difficult risk factors to avoid. Two such conditions are Fanconi anemia (FA) and dyskeratosis congenita (DC or DKC). FA stops the production of new red blood cells within your bone marrow, which greatly enhances the risk of leukemia and cancers of the mouth and throat. Fanconi anemia affects both men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, although Ashkenazi Jews and Afrikaners are more likely to have the blood disorder or to carry the mutation that causes it. Roughly one in 130,000 babies born annually in the United States has this condition. Dyskeratosis congenita is a similar bone marrow failure syndrome that often presents with abnormal fingernail and toenail growth as well as skin rashes. This inherited gene defect is associated with a higher than normal risk of throat cancer. Androgen therapy, the use of human-made hormones to stimulate the production of red blood cells and platelets, appears to mitigate the most common health outcomes of dyskeratosis congenita and Fanconi anemia.

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Heavy Smoking And Drinking


Heavy smoking and drinking are the two most common causes of laryngeal cancer. While everyone who smokes and drinks heavily won’t develop it, both activities increase your risk exponentially. Evidence indicates smoking is the main risk factor. Tobacco products contain more than sixty known carcinogens, including heavy metals, nitrosamines, and hydrocarbons, whose toxicity intensifies through combustion. Inhaled carcinogens damage cells lining your respiratory system by degrading DNA. Smoking also impairs the lungs’ ability to detoxify using cilia, hair-like projections that sweep particles out of the lungs. Years of smoking-related DNA damage is a direct precursor to abnormal cell growth, while impaired or destroyed cilia fail to sweep out toxic particulates that further degrade DNA.

Alcohol also negatively affects DNA by way of a group of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes collectively referred to as aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). A byproduct of alcohol metabolism is acetaldehyde, a cumulative carcinogen that can scramble DNA in stem cells. Stem cells with scrambled DNA eventually become abnormal cells or cells that continue to degrade until they cease to function. Studies have demonstrated a connection between excessive alcohol ingestion and cancer of the aerodigestive tract.