Hypopharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the hypopharynx, the bottom part of the pharynx – the throat. Most hypopharyngeal cancers form in squamous cells, the thin, flat cells lining the inside of the hypopharynx. The hypopharynx has three different areas. Cancer may be found in one or more of these areas.
Hypopharyngeal cancer is a type of head and neck cancer. In 2019, head and neck cancers will account for approximately 4 percent of all cancers in the United States, or about 70,500 of the estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Risk factors for hypopharyngeal cancer include the following:
- Smoking tobacco.
- Chewing tobacco.
- Heavy alcohol use.
- Eating a diet without enough nutrients.
- Having Plummer-Vinson syndrome.
Source: National Cancer Institute