Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cancer Throat Underlying Cause

The cause of throat cancer is unknown, but genetics may play a role in determining risk.

Genes control the functions inside a cell. Special genes control how cells divide and grow. Cancer occurs when the damaged genes stimulate the cell to multiply out of control.


  • DNA
  • Genes on chromosomes
  • Cancer cells
  • Cancer cell division

Cancer cells can develop from any of the cells lining the inside of the throat. The cells can spread through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream.


Continue to Cancer Throat Anatomy

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer Throat References
  1. Blanchaert RH Jr. Oral and oral pharyngeal cancer: an update on incidence and epidemiology, identification, advances in treatment, and outcomes. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2002 Dec;23(12 Suppl):25-9. [12789999]
  2. Chainani-Wu N. Diet and oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2002;44(2):104-26. [12734057]
  3. Elter JR, Patton LL, Strauss RP. Incidence rates and trends for oral and pharyngeal cancer in North Carolina: 1990-1999. Oral Oncol. 2005 May;41(5):470-9. [15878751]
  4. Tavani A, Bertuzzi M, Talamini R, Gallus S, Parpinel M, Franceschi S, Levi F, La Vecchia C. Coffee and tea intake and risk of oral, pharyngeal and esophageal cancer. Oral Oncol. 2003 Oct;39(7):695-700. [12907209]
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