The laryngopharynx combines the parts of the throat that include the larynx, hypopharynx and the cervical esophagus. This definition excludes the nasopharynx and oropharynx parts of the throat.

This term may be used for cancers in these three areas because tumours in any of the above three regions can quickly invade another region as the cancer grows. This is because these three regions are so close together.

Laryngopharyngeal cancer is particularly dangerous because many people don’t catch it in its early stages. Advanced cancer in the laryngopharynx and cervical esophagus is very difficult to treat because the area is so vital for breathing and eating.

There are several types of laryngopharyngeal cancers, but over 90 percent are squamous cell carcinomas.1

In some cases, depending on the size and extent of the tumour, the surgical removal for any of these cancers may be the same. Removing this entire complex is a surgical procedure called “Total Laryngopharyngectomy with Cervical Esophagectomy.”