Hypopharyngeal cancer

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If hypopharyngeal cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the hypopharynx to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If hypopharyngeal cancer spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • lymph nodes in the neck (cervical lymph nodes)
  • the pharyngeal wall
  • muscles in the wall of the pharynx (throat)
  • the larynx (voice box)
  • the esophagus
  • thyroid cartilage
  • lymph nodes in the mediastinum
  • the lung
  • the bone
  • the liver

People with hypopharyngeal cancer have a higher risk of developing a second type of cancer in nearby organs such as the esophagus, larynx or lungs. The second type of cancer may be found at the same time as hypopharyngeal cancer or after hypopharyngeal cancer is diagnosed.

mediastinum

The space in the chest between the lungs, breastbone and spine that contains the heart, great blood vessels, thymus, trachea (windpipe), esophagus and lymph nodes.

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

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