Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care anorexia diet pain control side effects taking control warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Cancer of the Pharynx Anatomy

To better understand pharyngeal cancer, it helps to understand the anatomy of the throat.

The back of throat is also referred to as the pharynx. More specifically, the pharynx is the back, upper part of the throat behind the tongue. It starts at the base of the tongue and ends at the larynx.

Anatomy examples:

  • Normal pharynx in an adult
  • Normal pharynx in a child
  • Normal tongue

The tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue in the back of the throat. They are located on both sides of the throat, near the base of the tongue. The tonsils generally shrink over time. At puberty, the tonsils are normally about the size of an almond.

Anatomy examples:
  • Normal anatomy of the pharynx
  • Normal tonsils in a child

Last Updated: Jul 7, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Cancer of the Pharynx References
  1. Chainani-Wu N. Diet and oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2002;44(2):104-26. [12734057]
  2. Fioretti F, Bosetti C, Tavani A, Franceschi S, La Vecchia C. Risk factors for oral and pharyngeal cancer in never smokers. Oral Oncol. 1999 Jul;35(4):375-8. [10645401]
  3. Pelucchi C, Talamini R, Negri E, Levi F, Conti E, Franceschi S, La Vecchia C. Folate intake and risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Ann Oncol. 2003 Nov;14(11):1677-81. [14581278]
  4. Rodriguez T, Altieri A, Chatenoud L, Gallus S, Bosetti C, Negri E, Franceschi S, Levi F, Talamini R, La Vecchia C. Risk factors for oral and pharyngeal cancer in young adults. Oral Oncol. 2004 Feb;40(2):207-13. [14693246]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.