Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Prevention: Head & Neck Cancer

Detecting oral and laryngeal cancer as early as possible goes a long way in preventing the spread of the disease. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is the best way to prevent oral and laryngeal cancer. Why not join the University of Miami’s Smoking Cessation Program and help reduce your risks? Read more about it at

Oral Cancer

The National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society encourage people to take an active role in the early detection of oral cancer by performing monthly self-examinations. During self-examination, it is important to take special note of any red or white patches; lumps or thickening of the skin, tissue, or gums; a sore that does not heal; or a sore than tends to bleed easily or excessively. A persistent sore throat, hoarseness or difficulty maneuvering the jaw during chewing or swallowing, should also be noted.

Avoiding all tobacco use and limiting alcohol consumption are two of the most important steps a person can take to limit his or her chances of developing oral cancer. Regular dental checkups that include an examination of the entire mouth and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are also recommended.

Laryngeal Cancer

While the exact cause of laryngeal cancer is not yet known, there are certain risk factors that have been identified for the disease. A risk factor is anything that may increase a person’s chance of developing a disease. Eliminating those risk factors that are in your control (such as tobacco use or alcohol abuse) is the best form of preventing the disease. Risk factors for laryngeal cancer are described above in the Definition section.