Oropharyngeal Cancer

Oropharyngeal cancer originates from the area posterior to the oral cavity, which includes the tonsils, soft palate and the posterior third of the tongue. Risk factors for oropharyngeal cancer, like for other squamous cancers, include tobacco and alcohol use, but cancers of the oropharynx are more strongly associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection than are cancers of other regions of the head and neck.


Symptoms

          Persistent throat pain
          Difficult or painful swallowing
          Ulceration or discoloration or the tonsils or soft palate
          Deep-seated ear pain
          Voice change
          Hard painless neck lump on one or both sides of the neck


Treatment

Early Stage Cancer (Stage I & II)

Early stage oropharyngeal cancers are usually treated with SINGLE MODALITY TREATMENT. This may be in the form of:


          SURGERY

                 or

          RADIATION THERAPY


Advanced Stage Cancer (Stage Ill & IV)

Advanced cancers usually require MULTIMODALITY TREATMENT. This may be in the form of:


          SUGERY followed by RADIATION THERAPY, with or without CHEMOTHERAPY

                 or

          COMBINED CHEMO-RADIOTHERAPY, with SURGERY as salvage treatment if there is evidence of recurrent
            or residual disease

The Thyroid Head & Neck Surgery Centre