Health Check A-Z
Laryngeal (larynx) cancer
Using tobacco products increases your chances of developing laryngeal cancer, lung cancer and bladder cancer.
Tobacco comes in many forms, including:
- pipe tobacco
- snuff (powdered tobacco that's snorted through the nose)
- chewing tobacco
If you smoke or use other tobacco products, giving up will have both short- and long-term health benefits. For example, if you're able to not smoke for 10 years, your risk of developing laryngeal cancer and other oral cancers will be the same as someone who has never smoked.
If you decide to stop smoking, your GP will be able to refer you to an NHS stop smoking service, which will be able to help you give up. You can also call the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 022 4332. The specially trained helpline staff offer free expert advice and support.
If you want to giving up smoking but you don't want to be referred to a stop smoking service, your GP should be able to prescribe medical treatment to help with any withdrawal symptoms that you may have after you give up.
Staying within the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption will also reduce your risk of developing laryngeal cancer and liver cancer. The recommended daily limits of alcohol are:
- 3-4 units of alcohol for men
- 2-3 units of alcohol for women
A unit of alcohol is equal to about half a pint of normal-strength lager, a small glass of wine or a pub measure (25ml) or spirits. See the Live Well section about how to stop smoking for more information.
Contact your GP if you're finding it difficult to reduce the amount of alcohol that you drink. You may need to have additional treatment that could include counselling, group work or medication.
See the Health A-Z topic about Alcohol misuse - treatment for more information and advice.
Research shows that a diet that's high in fresh vegetables, particularly tomatoes, citrus fruit such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, olive oil and fish oil, can reduce your risk of getting laryngeal cancer. This type of diet is sometimes known as a Mediterranean-style diet.
Eating five portions a day of a variety of fruit and vegetables will also help prevent oral cancer, as well as other types of cancer. Fruit and vegetables contain chemicals called antioxidants, which are thought to help protect cells from becoming damaged. Leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage are thought to provide the most protection against cancer.
Your diet should also be low in fat and high in starchy foods (carbohydrates), such as wholemeal bread, cereals and potatoes. See the Live Well section about healthy eating for more dietary information and advice.