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Oral & Pharynx Cancer (Throat cancer)

Throat cancer is a type of head and neck cancer. It is the name give to tumor cells, capable of invading nearby healthy tissues and of reaching other organs and lodging in them. Throat cancer has different names, depending on what part of the throat is affected. The different parts of the throat are called the oropharynx, the hypopharynx, and the nasopharynx. Sometimes the larynx, or voice box, is also included.

It is more frequent in men over 40 although the frequency in women is increasing. It is also more frequent among blacks.

Most throat cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. This means they develop in the squamous cells that line the throat. There are four types of throat cancers:

  • Nasopharynx cancer: The nasopharynx is the air passageway at the upper part of the pharynx (throat) behind the nose.
  • Oropharynx cancer: The oropharynx is the part of the throat right behind the mouth that includes the tonsils. It connects the nasopharynx and the hypopharynx.
  • Hypopharynx or larynx cancer: The larynx is the lower part of the throat, just above the esophagus and the windpipe.
  • Salivary gland cancer: the salivary glands are found in the various locations in the mouth.


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