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Throat (Laryngeal and Pharyngeal) Cancer

Definition of throat cancer: Cancer that forms in tissues of the pharynx (the hollow tube inside the neck that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the windpipe and esophagus). Throat cancer includes cancer of the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose), the oropharynx (the middle part of the pharynx), and the hypopharynx (the bottom part of the pharynx). Cancer of the larynx (voice box) may also be included as a type of throat cancer. Most throat cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells that look like fish scales). Also called pharyngeal cancer. 

For an overview of laryngeal, pharyngeal, and other head and neck cancers, see the NCI Fact Sheet, Head and Neck Cancers.

See the online booklet What You Need To Know About™ Cancer of the Larynx to learn about laryngeal cancer symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and questions to ask the doctor.


Information about treatment of throat cancer - cancer of the larynx (voice box) or pharynx

Prevention, Genetics, Causes

Information related to risk factors, prevention, and genetics


Information about managing the physical and emotional effects of cancer and its treatment

Research and Related Information

Includes NCI-supported research and funding opportunities