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 Signs and symptoms of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. 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.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Revised: November 27, 2017

American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.