How common is throat cancer?

Abie H. Mendelsohn, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
There are an estimated 40,000 cases of mouth and pharynx cancer each year. For the larynx, or the voice box, it’s an additional 12,000. Combined, this is over 3% of all cancers in the United States, including breast, lung and prostate cancers. Throat cancer causes more than 11,000 deaths annually.
Brian J. Broker, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
In the United States throat cancer affects about 40,000 patients each year, of which about 12,000 patients are cancers of the vocal cords while the rest affect other parts of the throat. The most common causes are tobacco and alcohol use. For early-stage throat cancers treatment and survival rates have improved dramatically in the past 50 years, though for advanced-stage tumors, survival rates have not changed in that time. 
Close to 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer per year in the United States. These account for almost 3% of all cancer cases in the United States. The disease is most likely to affect people ages 55-64 and men develop it more often than women. These figures do not include statistics for cancers of the larynx (voice box) or the esophagus.

Continue Learning about Throat Cancer

Throat Cancer

Caused when malignant cells affect the lining of the throat, larynx and tonsils, throat cancers commonly cause ear pain, painful swallowing and hoarseness.The throat, or pharynx, and our larynx, which houses our vocal cords, are s...

o close together that they are often grouped together as throat cancers. When throat cancer is caught early, cancerous tumors can be removed with specialized surgical tools that can scrape them off. Quit smoking today to reduce your risk for developing throat cancer. More severe cases of throat cancers require the complete or partial removal of the larynx, throat or affected lymph nodes. Alcohol abuse, poor dental hygiene and exposure to asbestos also increase your risk for developing a throat cancer.

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.