Understanding Hypopharyngeal Cancer
Hypopharyngeal cancer is considered a type of head and neck cancer. It is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the hypopharynx — the bottom part of the pharynx (throat).
The pharynx is a hollow tube that is about 5 inches long and goes from behind the nose, down the neck, to the windpipe, and the esophagus, the tube that goes from the throat to the stomach. Air and food pass through the pharynx to the trachea or the esophagus.
Most hypopharyngeal cancers form in the thin, flat cells lining the inside of the hypopharynx, known as squamous cells. The hypopharynx has three different areas: the posterior pharyngeal wall, the piriform sinuses, and the postcricoid region. Cancer may be found in one or more of these areas. While the vocal cord is directly attached to the hypopharynx, cancer in this area is different and called glottic cancer or laryngeal cancer.
Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Available in Brevard County
If you have been diagnosed with hypopharyngeal cancer or another type of head and neck cancer, the experts at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard are ready to help. We have cancer centers available throughout Brevard County, including Melbourne, Rockledge, Merrit Island, and Palm Bay, FL.
Risk Factors for Hypopharyngeal Cancer
Although there is no way to prevent cancer completely, you can take steps to reduce the risk. Risk factors for hypopharyngeal cancer are divided into factors that can be controlled and factors that cannot change.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypopharyngeal Cancer
It's important to know the common signs of hypopharyngeal cancer and visit your primary doctor if you are experiencing these for more than a few weeks, as early detection can give better treatment results.
Diagnosing Hypopharyngeal Cancer
Learn about how physicians check and test the throat and neck area to detect hypopharyngeal cancer and determine if it has spread.
Hypopharyngeal Cancer Stages
After a hypopharyngeal cancer diagnosis, doctors will need to understand the extent of the cancer to determine the best treatment approach. Factors considered in the staging of hypopharyngeal cancer include determining how big the main tumor is, if it has spread to lymph nodes nearby and if cancer has spread to distant parts of the body.
Treatment Options for Hypopharyngeal Cancer
At Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, our dedicated team of medical oncologists use the latest head and neck cancer treatment technologies to create a unique treatment plan for each patient. There are several types of hypopharyngeal cancer treatments available, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Clinical trials are also being tested to improve standard treatments.