Head & Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancers (HNC) include cancers of the oral cavity (including lip cancer and tongue cancer), larynx (laryngeal cancer), pharynx (pharyngeal cancer), hypopharynx (hypopharyngeal cancer), nasal cavity (including nasopharyngeal cancer), salivary glands, and sinuses (paranasal sinus cancer).
Types of Head and Neck Cancer
- Hypopharyngeal Cancer
- Laryngeal Cancer
- Nasopharyngeal Cancer
- Oropharyngeal Cancer
- Oral and Lip Cancer
- Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancer
- Salivary Gland Cancer
The hypopharynx is the part of the throat (pharynx) that lies beside and behind the larynx. The hypopharynx is the entrance to the esophagus. Food goes from the mouth and through the hypopharynx and esophagus, where it then passes into the stomach. The structure of the hypopharynx makes sure that food goes around the larynx and into the esophagus.
The larynx (voice box) is located just below the pharynx (throat) in the neck. The larynx contains the vocal cords, which vibrate and make sound when air is directed against them. The sound echoes through the pharynx, mouth, and nose to make a person's voice.
The nasopharynx is the upper part of the throat (pharynx) that lies behind the nose. It is a box-like chamber about one and a half inches on each edge. It lies just above the soft part of the roof of the mouth (soft palate) and just in back of the entrance into the nasal passages.
Oropharyngeal cancer develops in oropharynx, the part of the throat just behind the mouth and begins where the oral cavity ends. It is also called throat cancer. It includes the base of the tongue (back third of the tongue), the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth), the tonsils, and the side and back wall of the throat.
The oral cavity helps you to breathe, talk, eat, chew, and swallow. Minor salivary glands located throughout the oropharynx make saliva that keeps your mouth moist and helps you digest food. And, it is composed of several types of body tissues, which are made up of several types of cells.
Oral cavity cancer starts and develops in the mouth.
The nasal cavity is the space just behind the nose where air passes on its way to the throat. The paranasal sinuses are air-filled areas that surround the nasal cavity.
Salivary glands make saliva, the fluid that moistens the mouth and throat. There are major and minor salivary glands.
Survivor Stories: Living with Head and Neck Cancer
A Laryngeal Cancer Survivor Navigates His Journey With Grace, Wit, and Love
Christy, a survivor living with head and neck cancer, shares her cancer story.
Bill, a survivor living with head and neck cancer, and his caregiver, Jean, share their cancer story.
With all of this, I would say I'm a better person afterward. You don't sweat the small stuff as much.
HNC survivors Christy, Bill, and Terry and caregiver Jean share advice to the newly diagnosed.
Terry, a head and neck cancer survivor, shares his story.
HNC survivors Bill and Terry and caregiver, Jean, share their experience of being diagnosed.
HNC survivors Bill and Terry and Christy and caregiver, Jean, share tips for eating healthy.
Jean and Bill share helpful advice about being a caregiver and giving support.
Bill, Jean, and Terry share helpful tips for communicating with your caregiver.
Christy, Bill, Jean, and Terry share helpful tips on coping with side effects and dental care.
Christy and Terry, who live with HNC, share tips on dealing with social situations and stigma.
Terry, a survivor of HNC, shares insight on laryngectomies and unexpected aspects of stoma care.
HNC survivors Christy, Jean, Bill and Terry share stories of getting feeding tubes and weaning off them.
Eating Well with Head & Neck Cancer
A healthy diet is an important part of a head and neck cancer patient’s journey before, during, and after treatment.