Cancer Of The Pharynx 

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Areas of the Pharynx Where Cancer May Occur. Courtesy Wikimedia.

Areas of the Pharynx Where Cancer May Occur. Courtesy Wikimedia.

What Is Cancer Of The Pharynx?

Cancer of the pharynx is a malignant growth of stratified squamous cells that line the pharynx, or throat.

Q: What are stratified squamous cells that line the pharynx?

A: Stratified squamous cells are thin, flat epithelial cells consisting of several layers forming the surface mucosa that protects underlying layers of the pharynx. These cells lie very close together and have no blood vessels.

The pharynx is the upper passageway of the throat where swallowing food and fluids from the mouth first pass on the way to the esophagus and breathing air passes from the nose and mouth to and from the lungs.

The pharynx provides for speech production, adequate taste reception, and proper hearing through equalization of air pressure in the eustachian tubes.

The pharynx has three areas and pharyngeal cancer can occur in any of them: the nasopharynx behind the nose, the oropharynx behind the mouth, and the hypopharynx or laryngopharynx, just above the larynx. Tonsils, adenoids, and other lymph tissue lie at the back of the throat.

Unfortunately, cancers of the pharynx tend not to be detected until late in their course when symptoms become evident. This makes the prognosis poor. See symptom below.

What Is Cancer Of The Pharynx In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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