About - Throat Cancers (Laryngeal and Pharyngeal Cancers)

Pharyngeal cancer Surgeon in Ahmedabad

Where Throat Cancer Begins

The throat has two primary parts: the pharynx and the larynx. Throat cancer can begin in either place. Doctors also refer to the cancer by its precise location in the throat.


Knowing about the anatomy of the throat will help you to understand the treatment and other aspects of the care that you will be offered.

The Pharynx

The pharynx is the area that connects the oral cavity and nasal cavity to the food pipe (esophagus) and windpipe (trachea). It is approximately five inches long.

The pharynx has three main sections:

  • The nasopharynx is the upper part of the pharynx, which connects the mouth and nose to the throat.
  • The oropharynx is the middle part of the pharynx, including the tonsils and soft palate which connects the throat and the oral cavity.
  • The hypopharynx is the bottom part of the pharynx, between the throat and the windpipe

The most common location affected by the cancer is the oropharynx. Hypopharyngeal cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer are rare. The treatment recommendations vary according to the stage and location of the tumor.

The Larynx (Voice Box)

The larynx is the part of the throat between the base of the tongue and the windpipe. It is often referred to as the voice box because it contains the vocal cords which produce the speech.

The larynx has three main parts:

  • The supraglottis- the upper part of the larynx above the vocal cords
  • The glottis- the middle part of the larynx, where the vocal cords are located
  • The subglottis- the lower part of the larynx between the vocal cords and the trachea

Cancer can begin in any of these sections, as well as in the vocal cords.

The type of throat cancer you have depends on the type of cell in which the cancer began.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma- most commonly found throat cancers
  • Lymphomas
  • Minor salivary glands tumors
  • Sarcomas of throat

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