Hypopharyngeal Cancer Risk Factors

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Risk factors of hypopharyngeal cancer may include:

  • Smoking and/or chewing tobacco
  • Moderate or heavy alcohol use (more than one drink a day)
  • Poor nutrition
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Genetic syndromes (inherited gene mutations)
  • Workplace exposures to certain fumes and chemicals
  • Gender (more common in men than women)
  • Age (more common among patients age 65 and older)
  • Race (more common among African Americans and Caucasians)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Keep in mind that having a risk factor, or even several of them, does not mean that you will get hypopharyngeal cancer. Likewise, many people who do get the disease may have few or no known risk factors at all.