A variety of factors affect the survivability of hypopharyngeal cancer. Since early, highly treatable stages of the condition do not usually produce symptoms, many cases are diagnosed in the later stages, after the cancer has spread. There may be fewer treatment options for patients with these later stages of hypopharyngeal cancer.
In fact, some treatments may affect a patient’s ability to talk, eat and breathe normally after the procedure. These permanent side effects must be heavily weighed before treatment is determined.
Along with the stage of the cancer, these other factors may affect the prognosis or ability to recover:
- Patient’s health, age and gender
- The tumor location and the ability to access the tumor
- Smoking habits during radiation
After successful treatment, patients with hypopharyngeal cancer and other cancers of the head and neck are at increased risk of developing a second cancer caused by radiation. Follow-up care is extremely important.