Can laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers be found early?
Screening is testing for diseases like cancer in people without any symptoms. Screening tests may find some types of cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be effective.
But for now there is no simple screening test for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. These cancers are often hard to find and diagnose without complex tests. Because the cancers are not common, and the tests require specialized doctors, neither the American Cancer Society nor any other group recommends routine screening for these cancers.
Still, many laryngeal and some hypopharyngeal cancers can be found early. They usually cause symptoms, such as voice changes, which are described in the section, “How are laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers diagnosed?” Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Many of the symptoms of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers are more often caused by less serious, benign (non-cancerous) problems, or even other cancers. Still, it is important to see a doctor to find out what is causing your symptoms. The sooner the cause is found, the sooner it can be treated, if needed.
Last Medical Review: 12/14/2012
Last Revised: 01/18/2013