Hypopharyngeal cancer

What is hypopharyngeal cancer?

Hypopharyngeal cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the hypopharynx. Malignant means that it can spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.

Risk factors for hypopharyngeal cancer

The most important risk factors for developing hypopharyngeal cancer is smoking and alcohol. Learn about cancer risk in the hypopharynx.

Symptoms of hypopharyngeal cancer

Hypopharyngeal cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages because of the location of the hypopharynx in the body. Symptoms appear once the tumour grows into surrounding tissues and organs. Most hypopharyngeal tumours are diagnosed at a later stage.

Diagnosis of hypopharyngeal cancer

Diagnosing hypopharyngeal cancer usually begins with a visit to your family doctor. Your doctor will ask you about any symptoms you have and may do a physical exam. Based on this information, your doctor may refer you to a specialist or order tests to check for hypopharyngeal cancer or other health problems.

Grading pharyngeal cancer

Grading describes how the cancer cells look compared to normal, healthy cells. Knowing the grade gives your healthcare team an idea of how quickly the cancer may be growing and how likely it is to spread. Learn about grading for hypopharyngeal cancer.

Stages of hypopharyngeal cancer

Staging describes the extent of hypopharyngeal cancer in the body. Learn about the stages of hypopharyngeal cancer by the TNM (tumour size, lymph node, metastasis) system.

If hypopharyngeal cancer spreads

Cancer can spread from the hypopharynx to other parts of the body. This is called metastasis. Learn about common sites where hypopharyngeal cancer can spread.

Prognosis and survival for hypopharyngeal cancer

Learn about prognosis for hypopharyngeal cancer. Important prognostic factors include stage and lymph node status.

Treatments for hypopharyngeal cancer

Treatments for hypopharyngeal cancer include surgery, chemoradiation, radiation, chemotherapy and biological therapy. Learn about treatment plans and options for hypopharyngeal cancer.

Supportive care for pharyngeal cancer

Supportive care helps people meet the physical, practical, emotional and spiritual challenges of pharyngeal cancer. It is an important part of cancer care. There are many programs and services available to help meet the needs and improve the quality of life of people living with cancer and their loved ones, especially after treatment has ended.

Research in head and neck cancer

Learn more about head and neck cancer research including reducing risk, diagnosis and prognosis, treatment and supportive care.

Pharyngeal cancer statistics

Learn about Canadian statistics for pharyngeal cancer, including nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers.