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Standard treatment options for hypopharyngeal cancer
Surgery is a common treatment for all stages of hypopharyngeal cancer. The following surgical procedures may be used:
Cordectomy: Surgery to remove the vocal cords only.
Supraglottic laryngectomy: Surgery to remove the supraglottis only.
Hemilaryngectomy: Surgery to remove half of the larynx (voice box). A hemilaryngectomy preserves the voice.
Partial laryngectomy: Surgery to remove part of the larynx (voice box). A partial laryngectomy also preserves the voice.
Total laryngectomy: Surgery to remove the whole larynx. During this operation, a hole is made in the front of the neck to allow the patient to breathe. This is called a stoma.
Thyroidectomy: The removal of all or part of the thyroid gland.
Laser surgery: A surgical procedure that uses a laser beam (a narrow beam of intense light) as a knife to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove a surface lesion such as a tumor.
Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left. Treatment given after the surgery—to lower the risk that the cancer will come back—is called adjuvant therapy.
The use of anticancer drugs to shrink or kill cancerous cells and reduce cancer spreading to other parts of the body.
When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
The use of high-energy radiation to kill or shrink cancer cells, tumors, and non-cancerous diseases.
The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
Radiation therapy may work better in patients who have stopped smoking before beginning treatment. External radiation therapy to the thyroid or the pituitary gland may change the way the thyroid gland works. The doctor may test the thyroid gland before and after therapy to make sure it is working properly.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.