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What is oropharyngeal cancer?

Christopher M. Garvey, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
Oropharyngeal cancer is a cancer arising from the oropharynx which includes your tonsils, soft palate, and back of your tongue. It typically implies a cancer arsing from the cells that line your oropharynx called squamous cells. The most common cause of developing this cancer is tobacco use. There has been a rise in recent years of oropharyngeal cancers in non-smokers. The cause of this increase is a virus called the human papilloma virus (HPV).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.