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What Can I Do if I’m At Risk for Laryngeal Cancer?

If you think you may be at risk for getting cancer of the larynx, you should talk with your doctor. The doctor may be able to suggest ways to reduce the risk and set up a schedule for regular checkups.

There are no standard screening tests for early detection of laryngeal cancer. But it is possible for laryngeal cancer to be found early. You should be aware of the symptoms and see a doctor if you have them.

Take these actions to lower your risk:

  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Those who quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke lower their risk for laryngeal cancer. This advice applies to all tobacco products--cigarettes, cigars, pipes, snuff, and chewing tobacco. Plus, you’ll reduce your risk for other cancers, such as lung, mouth, pancreas, bladder, and esophagus. If you have already had cancer of the larynx, you reduce your chance of getting the disease again or of getting a new cancer by quitting smoking. Counseling or self-help groups can be helpful to those who want to stop smoking. Organizations such as the American Cancer Society have information about local support groups.

  • Limit or stop drinking alcohol. Doing so lowers your risk of getting laryngeal cancer.

  • Avoid workplace exposure. If you work with cancer-causing chemicals, there should be adequate ventilation in the workplace, and you should use an industrial respirator when working with chemicals. Other substances that may be associated with laryngeal cancer include asbestos, wood dust, and paint fumes.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Poor nutrition and vitamin deficiencies have been linked to laryngeal cancer.

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