Personality, smoking, and alcohol as synergistic risk factors for cancer of the mouth and pharynx

Psychol Rep. 1990 Dec;67(3 Pt 1):1024-6. doi: 10.2466/pr0.67.7.1024-1026.


34 male patients suffering from cancer of the mouth or pharynx were studied with reference to their personality type, smoking and drinking habits, and compared with a healthy sample of 1706 men. The three risk factors showed a strong tendency to be related to cancer only in combination, adding new evidence to the theory that risk factors in cancer act in a synergistic fashion.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Ethanol / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mouth Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Personality Development*
  • Personality Tests
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / psychology


  • Ethanol