Throat cancer refers to cancerous tumors that develop in your throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils.
Your throat is a muscular tube that begins behind your nose and ends in your neck. Your voice box sits just below your throat and is also susceptible to throat cancer. The voice box is made of cartilage and contains the vocal cords that vibrate to make sound when you talk. Throat cancer can also affect the piece of cartilage (epiglottis) that acts as a lid for your windpipe. Tonsil cancer, another form of throat cancer, affects the tonsils, which are located on the back of the throat.
You can reduce your risk of throat cancer by not smoking, not chewing tobacco and limiting alcohol use.
Sept. 13, 2012
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..X0001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Head and neck cancers. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Laryngeal cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/laryngeal/patient. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Hypopharyngeal cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/hypopharyngeal/patient. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Oropharyngeal cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/oropharyngeal/patient. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- What you need to know about cancer of the larynx. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/larynx. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Erbitux (prescribing information). Branchburg, N.J.: ImClone LLC; 2012. http://www.erbitux.com/main.aspx. Accessed Aug. 16, 2012.
- Freedman ND, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and head and neck cancer risk in a large United States prospective cohort study. International Journal of Cancer. 2008;122:2330.
- Deng GE, et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: Complementary therapies and botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. 2009;7:85.
- HPV vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/vaccine.html. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.