Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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

Throat Cancer Anatomy

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

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 anatomy of pharynx
  • Normal tongue

The larynx is part of the upper airway. It begins at the lower pharynx, and extends down to the trachea. From the outside, it is the area called the Adam's apple in the front of the neck.

The larynx consists of:
  • Epiglottis
  • Vocal cords
  • Subglottic area
  • Thyroid cartilage

Larynx examples:
  • Rear view of larynx
  • Top view of epiglottis with x-ray of enlarged epiglottis
  • Normal pharynx in adult

Last Updated: Jul 10, 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 Throat Cancer References
  1. Blanchaert RH Jr. Oral and oral pharyngeal cancer: an update on incidence and epidemiology, identification, advances in treatment, and outcomes. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2002 Dec;23(12 Suppl):25-9. [12789999]
  2. Chainani-Wu N. Diet and oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2002;44(2):104-26. [12734057]
  3. Elter JR, Patton LL, Strauss RP. Incidence rates and trends for oral and pharyngeal cancer in North Carolina: 1990-1999. Oral Oncol. 2005 May;41(5):470-9. [15878751]
  4. Tavani A, Bertuzzi M, Talamini R, Gallus S, Parpinel M, Franceschi S, Levi F, La Vecchia C. Coffee and tea intake and risk of oral, pharyngeal and esophageal cancer. Oral Oncol. 2003 Oct;39(7):695-700. [12907209]
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.