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Pharynx cancer

Squamous epithelial carcinoma is the main group of pharynx cancer. Adenocarcinomas, sarcomas, and other tumor types also occur. 

The pharynx is separated into three levels:

  1. nasopharynx
  2. oropharynx
    • tonsils
    • base of the tongue
    • softe palate with uvula
  3. hypopharynx
    • piriform sinus
    • posterior pharynx wall
    • anterior pharynx wall (post cricoid)

Treatment for pharynx cancer and the changes that follow have great consequences for patient's function of speech and nutrition. The extent of changes will depend on the localization and stage of the tumor. In order to reduce the burdens this may cause, thorough information and follow-up is critical (2).


Oral cavity and pharynx cancer represents 2.9% of all new cancer cases in the United States and is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 55-64. In 2017, it is estimated to be 49,670 new cases of oral cavity and pharynx cancer (13).


Age-specific incidence of pharynx cancer, 2010–2014.

Source: National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, USA



Incidence of pharynx cancer and cancer in the oral cavity, 1975–2014.

Source: National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, USA

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