Cancers that involve the throat, base of the tongue, tonsil, pharynx, or tube that extends from the nasal passages to the mouth to the esophagus and sinus are called oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers.
Risk factors for developing throat cancer may include:
- Smoking tobacco
- Heavy alcohol use
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
- Drinking maté, a stimulant drink common in South America
- Chewing betel quid, a stimulant commonly used in parts of Asia
- Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV)
Our Approach to Throat Cancer
UCSF offers cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment options for throat cancer, delivered in a comfortable and supportive environment. Our goal is to treat the cancer while preserving speech and swallowing functions as much as possible.
To achieve the best outcome for each patient, our team includes a wide range of specialists. These include head and neck surgeons, otolaryngologists, medical oncologists, reconstructive surgeons and radiation oncologists, as well as experts in speech-language pathology, nutrition and psycho-oncology.
Awards & recognition
Among the top hospitals in the nation
Best in Northern California for cancer care (tie)
No. 6 (tie) in the nation for ear, nose & throat care
Designated comprehensive cancer center
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.