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Treatment of locoregionally advanced (stage III and IV) head and neck cancer: The larynx and hypopharynx

Bruce E Brockstein, MD
Kerstin M Stenson, MD, FACS
David J Sher, MD, MPH
Section Editors
David M Brizel, MD
Marshall R Posner, MD
Marvin P Fried, MD, FACS
Deputy Editor
Michael E Ross, MD


Worldwide, there are approximately 238,000 new laryngeal cancer cases and 106,000 deaths annually [1]. In the United States, there are approximately 13,000 cases and 3660 deaths due to laryngeal cancer annually [2]. Glottic, supraglottic, and subglottic cancers represent approximately two-thirds, one-third, and 2 percent of laryngeal cancers, respectively. Hypopharyngeal cancer is less common than laryngeal cancer, with approximately one-fourth as many cases.

Tumors of the glottic larynx commonly present with hoarseness and are most often diagnosed at an early stage. However, patients with supraglottic and subglottic laryngeal cancers, as well as hypopharyngeal cancers, usually present with advanced disease due to a paucity of symptoms, propensity for local extension (subglottis), and rich lymphatics resulting in a high incidence of lymph node metastases (supraglottis).

The management of locoregionally advanced laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer is presented here. The treatment of early stage laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers is discussed separately.

(See "Treatment of early (stage I and II) head and neck cancer: The larynx".)

(See "Treatment of early (stage I and II) head and neck cancer: The hypopharynx".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Feb 25, 2017.
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