Cancerous tumours of the hypopharynx
A cancerous tumour of the hypopharynx can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Cancerous tumours are also called malignant tumours. The most common type of hypopharyngeal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). It accounts for more than 90% of cancers of the hypopharynx.
Squamous cell carcinoma @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Squamous cell carcinoma starts in flat, thin cells called squamous cells. A layer of these cells (called the squamous epithelium) lines the hypopharynx. Squamous cell carcinoma most often starts in the pyriform sinus but sometimes starts in the posterior pharyngeal wall or the post-cricoid area.
Verrucous carcinoma is a type of SCC. It is low grade and rarely spreads to other parts of the body but can grow deep into nearby tissue.
Rare hypopharyngeal tumours @(Model.HeadingTag)>
The following cancerous tumours of the hypopharynx are rare.
Minor salivary gland tumours start in the cells of the minor salivary glands. These are tiny glands in the lining of the hypopharynx. Types of minor salivary gland tumours include adenocarcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Find out more about cancerous tumours of the salivary glands.
Sarcoma starts in the cells of the connective tissue (cartilage). Types of sarcoma of the hypopharynx include chondrosarcoma and synovial sarcoma. Find out more about types of soft tissue sarcoma.
Melanoma usually starts in the skin but can start on the inner mucous surfaces of the body including in the hypopharynx. Find out more about melanoma.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma starts in lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. Find out more about non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
American Cancer Society. Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancers. 2014: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/laryngeal-and-hypopharyngeal-cancer.html.
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Kruser TJ, Pagedar NA, Hoffman HT, Harari PM . Cancers of the hypopharynx and cervical esophagus: general principles and management. Harrison LB, Sessions RB, Kies MS (eds.). Head and Neck Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014: 19: 482 - 509.
Mendenhall WM, Werning JW, Pfister DG . Cancer of the head and neck. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 38: 422-473.