The hypopharynx is the
bottom part of the pharynx (throat).
The pharynx is a hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose, goes down the neck,
and ends at the top of the trachea
(windpipe) and esophagus (the tube
that goes from the throat to the stomach). Air and food pass through the pharynx on
the way to the trachea or the esophagus.
Most hypopharyngeal cancers form in squamous cells,
the thin, flat cells lining the inside of the
hypopharynx. The hypopharynx has 3 different areas. Cancer may be found in 1 or more of these areas.
Risk factors include the following:
These and other symptoms may be caused by hypopharyngeal cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following
The following tests and procedures may be used:
Prognosis (chance of recovery) depends on the
Treatment options depend on the following:
Patients who have had hypopharyngeal cancer are at an increased risk of developing a second
cancer in the head or neck. Frequent and
careful follow-up is important.
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