How Can People Who Have Had Head and Neck Cancers Reduce Their Risk of Developing a Second Primary (new) Cancer?

People who have been treated for head and neck cancers have an increased chance of developing a new cancer, usually in the head, neck, esophagus, or lungs. The chance of a second primary cancer varies depending on the site of the original cancer, but it is higher for people who use tobacco and drink alcohol.

Especially because patients who smoke have a higher risk of a second primary cancer, doctors encourage patients who use tobacco to quit.

Regular check ups and monitoring are necessary to detect any secondary (returning) cancer.