Treatment for Hypopharynx Tumors

The appropriate therapy for tumors of the hypopharynx (e.g., upper throat) depends upon several factors:

  • the patient's health (performance status);
  • the extent of disease (stage),
  • the presence of absence of laryngeal involvement; and
  • the presence or absence of either local (lymph node) or distant metastasis.

In general, for early stage disease (T1 or T2 lesions) surgery or radiation may be considered equally. More advanced disease typically calls for combined therapy with surgery and radiation. In recent years, surgeons have tried to utilize chemotherapy prior to a definitive surgical procedure, in order to achieve organ preservation.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 14 Aug 1999

Last Modified: 18 Sep 2015