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Pharynx Cancer – Nasal Oral and Hypo Pharynx Cancer

Pharynx cancer is defined as a cancer that occurs in the area of the throat. This encompasses the pharynx, a hollow tube that goes from behind your nose and mouth to the top of the trachea and is defined as the area that transports food to the stomach and air to the lungs, and the larynx or voice box that allows us to speak and supports both breathing and swallowing. Pharyngeal cancer can be broken down into three types: nasopharynx cancer that occurs behind your nose, oropharynx cancer that occurs behind your mouth and hypopharynx cancers that occur at the bottom of the pharynx. Laryngeal cancer can also be broken down into three types: supraglottis, glottis and subglottis. The two most significant risk factors for these cancers are tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. Other significant causes are viruses, including HPV and Epstein-Barr. Because throat cancer occurs in a sensitive and vital part of the body, it can have a profound effect on a patient’s life.

Symptoms

Symptoms of pharynx cancer include:

  • Persistent sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Persistent ear pain/hearing changes/ringing in ears
  • Facial pain
  • Hoarse voice
  • Lump in neck or throat
  • Sores in the throat
  • Stiff jaw
  • Constant bad breath
  • Persistent Headaches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nosebleeds
  • Coughing up blood
  • Unexplained weight loss

Treatment Options

Pharynx cancer is generally diagnosed beginning with a physical exam to check for lumps in the mouth or swollen glands in the neck. A doctor will examine the area using an endoscopy, a procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube which is inserted in the nose and has a camera. If the doctor finds suspicious tissue, a biopsy may be taken. Imaging studies and bloodwork may also be taken. The most common treatment for Pharynx cancers is a combination of radiation and chemotherapy. Surgery is generally undertaken only if the tumor returns after these treatments are completed. If the tumor is small, transoral laser microsurgery may be used. If so, after surgery, a nasogastric feeding tube is used because the patient won’t be able to eat normally for a couple weeks. If the tumor is larger, traditional open surgery is employed.

Previous Page Last Review Date: October 21, 2020
Pharynx Cancer – Nasal Oral and Hypo Pharynx Cancer Team
Rodrigo Arrangoiz, MD, MS, FACS

Rodrigo Arrangoiz, MD, MS, FACS

Oncology Surgery
Hialeah 33016
Adrian Legaspi, MD, FACS

Adrian Legaspi, MD, FACS

Oncology Surgery
Hialeah 33016