HEALTH ALERT!  For the safety of our patients and staff, effective March 30, 2020, new patients and patients with disabilities will be permitted one visitor over the age of 15. No other visitors will be permitted into the clinic.  Family members and caretakers may participate in the appointments remotely by phone or video conference if desired. Compass is working with other health care providers in the area to help contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus. We are taking active steps to minimize your exposure to the virus. These steps include screening everyone who enters the clinic for signs of illness, banning most visitors in the clinic, minimizing our own staffing and allowing some employees to work from home, and frequent sanitation of the clinic. We are using personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns, gloves, and face-shields according to national guidelines. We are working to identify those patients whose visits or treatments can be safely delayed, and we will notify you of this if you have an upcoming visit.  We ask that you stay home if you have fever and/or cough.

More Info

Hypopharyngeal Cancer Overview

Hypopharyngeal Cancer Overview - Head and Neck Cancer explained by Portland-Vancouver Oncologists

Hypopharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the hypopharynx. It is a type of head and neck cancer.

The hypopharynx is the bottom part of the pharynx (throat). The pharynx is a hollow tube about five inches long that starts behind the nose, goes down the neck, and ends at the top of the trachea (windpipe) and esophagus (the tube that goes from the throat to the stomach). Air and food pass through the pharynx on the way to the trachea or the esophagus.

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.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypopharyngeal Cancer

There are several signs and symptoms that could be related to hypopharyngeal cancer; however, it is important to remember that they can also be symptoms of other diseases. See your doctor if you have:

  • A lump in the neck
  • Unexplained ear pain
  • Pain or difficulty when swallowing
  • A persistent sore throat
  • Constant, persistent coughing
  • Difficulty breathing

If any of these symptoms last for more than three weeks, it is a good idea to be checked by a doctor. If it is cancer, early detection can give you better treatment results.

Hypopharyngeal Cancer Risk Factors

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Risk factors of hypopharyngeal cancer may include:

  • Smoking and/or chewing tobacco
  • Moderate or heavy alcohol use (more than one drink a day)
  • Poor nutrition
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Genetic syndromes (inherited gene mutations)
  • Workplace exposures to certain fumes and chemicals
  • Gender (more common in men than women)
  • Age (more common among patients age 65 and older)
  • Race (more common among African Americans and Caucasians)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Keep in mind that having a risk factor, or even several of them, does not mean that you will get hypopharyngeal cancer. Likewise, many people who do get the disease may have few or no known risk factors at all.

 

Sources: