Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer

+ -Text Size

What Is Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer? TOPICS

What are the key statistics about laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers?

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for laryngeal cancer in the United States for 2015 are:

  • About 13,560 new cases of laryngeal cancer (10,720 in men and 2,840 in women)
  • About 3,640 people (2,890 men and 750 women) will die from laryngeal cancer

About 60% of laryngeal cancers start in the glottis (the area containing the vocal cords themselves), while about 35% develop in the supraglottic area (above the vocal cords). The rest develop in either the subglottis (below the vocal cords) or overlap more than one area so that it is hard to tell where they started.

The rate of new cases of laryngeal cancer is falling by about 2% to 3% a year, most likely because fewer people are smoking.

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 15,520 new cases of cancer of the pharynx (throat) will occur in 2015 (12,380 in men and 3,140 in women). Only about 3,400 of these will start in the hypopharynx (about 2,725 in men and 675 in women).

Survival statistics for these cancers are discussed in the section “Survival rates for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers by stage.”

Last Medical Review: 04/08/2014
Last Revised: 03/02/2015