Background: A risk factor is any attribute, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or injury. The term 'risk factors' comes with a cluster of related terms like risk indicator, modifiable risk factor, risk marker, determinant, and demographic risk factor, which are often used more-or-less interchangeably. Materials and Methods: The development of cancer is of multifactorial origin. At the cellular level, the development of cancer is viewed as a multistep process involving mutation and selection for cells with progressively increasing capacity for proliferation, survival, invasion, and metastasis. Established and emerging risk factors in addition to incidence and prevalence of cancer of upper aero-digestive tract were here identified. Results: Established risk factors for cancer of upper aero- digestive tract identified were age, gender, lifestyle habits like smoked and smokeless tobacco, alcohol consumption, diet inadequate in fruits and vegetables and unsafe sexual practices. The emerging significant risk factors are oral trauma and dental risk factors like inflammation and infection. Conclusions: Understanding and quantifying impact of risk factors that cause cancer is vital for health decision-making, planning and prevention to improve global health. Various established and national policies and programmes should be implemented to raise awareness and reduce exposure to cancer risk factors, and to ensure that people are provided with the information and support they need to adopt healthy lifestyles.
- Life style risk factors
- Upper aero-digestive tract cancer