Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer: Statistics
Approved by theCancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2023
ON THIS PAGE:You will find information about the estimated number of people who will be diagnosed with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving these diseases. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors, and no 2 people with cancer are the same. Use the menu to see other pages.
Every person is different, with different factors influencing their risk of being diagnosed with these cancers and the chance of recovery after a diagnosis. It is important to talk with your doctor about any questions you have around the general statistics provided below and what they may mean for you individually. The original sources for these statistics are provided at the bottom of this page.
There are different types of statistics that can help doctors evaluate a person’s chance of recovery from laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer. These are called survival statistics. A specific type of survival statistic is called the relative survival rate. It is often used to predict how having cancer may affect life expectancy. Relative survival rate looks at how likely people with laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer are to survive for a certain amount of time after their initial diagnosis or start of treatment compared to the expected survival of similar people without these cancers.
Example:Here is an example to help explain what a relative survival rate means. Please note this is only an example and not specific to this type of cancer. Let’s assume that the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific type of cancer is 90%. “Percent” means how many out of 100. Imagine there are 1,000 people without cancer, and based on their age and other characteristics, you expect 900 of the 1,000 to be alive in 5 years. Also imagine there are another 1,000 people similar in age and other characteristics as the first 1,000, but they all have the specific type of cancer that has a 5-year survival rate of 90%. This means it is expected that 810 of the people with the specific cancer (90% of 900) will be alive in 5 years.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with laryngeal or hypopharyngeal are only an estimate. They cannot tell an individual person if cancer will or will not shorten their life. Instead, these statistics describe trends in groups of people previously diagnosed with the same disease, including specific stages of the disease.
How many people are diagnosed with laryngeal cancer?
Laryngeal cancer is a common type of head and neck cancer. In 2023, an estimated 12,380 adults (9,900 men and 2,480 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. The incidence rates of this disease are decreasing by around 2% to 3% annually. This is thought to be the result of fewer people smoking. In the United States, Black men are more likely to develop and die from laryngeal cancer compared with White men. It is also more common in men than in women. Worldwide, an estimated 184,615 people were diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 2020.
It is estimated that 3,820 deaths (3,070 men and 750 women) from this disease will occur in the United States in 2023. For the past decade, the death rate has been decreasing by 2% to 3% each year. In 2020, an estimated 99,840 people worldwide died from laryngeal cancer.
What is the survival rate for laryngeal cancer?
The 5-year relative survival rate for laryngeal cancer in the United States is 61%.
The survival rates for laryngeal cancer vary based on several factors. These include thestage of cancer, a person’s age and general health, and how well the treatment plan works.
More than half of patients (52%) are diagnosed and treated before the cancer has spread outside the larynx. In those cases, the 5-year relative survival rate is 78%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 46%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 34%.
However, the 5-year relative survival rate also depends on the location of the cancer (glottis, supraglottis, or subglottis, as explained in theIntroduction) and the stage.
Glottis.Approximately 60% of laryngeal cancer is found in the glottis. The 5-year relative survival rate for this cancer is 77%. If the cancer is only located in the larynx (localized cancer), the 5-year relative survival rate is 84%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes (regional cancer), the 5-year relative survival rate is 52%. When the cancer is in the most advanced stage and has spread to a distant part of the body (distant cancer), the relative survival rate is 45%.
Supraglottis.Approximately 35% of laryngeal cancer is found in the supraglottis. The 5-year relative survival rate for this cancer is 45%. If the cancer is localized in the larynx, the 5-year relative survival rate is 61%. If the cancer is regional, the 5-year relative survival rate is 46%. The 5-year relative survival rate for distant cancer of the supraglottis is 30%.
Subglottis.Rarely, cancer will start in the subglottis. The 5-year relative survival rate for this cancer is 49%. If the cancer is localized in the larynx, the 5-year relative survival rate is 59%. If the cancer is regional, the 5-year relative survival rate is 38%. At its distant stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 44%.
How many people are diagnosed with hypopharyngeal cancer?
Each year, an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with hypopharyngeal cancer. Worldwide, an estimated 84,254 people were diagnosed with hypopharyngeal cancer in 2020.
In 2020, an estimated 38,599 people worldwide died from hypopharyngeal cancer.
What is the survival rate for hypopharyngeal cancer?
Like laryngeal cancer, the survival rates for hypopharyngeal cancer vary based on thestageof cancer, a person’s age and general health, how well the treatment plan works, and other factors.
The 5-year relative survival rate for hypopharyngeal cancer in the United States is 37%.
If the cancer is found at an early, localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate of people with hypopharyngeal cancer is 61%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 39%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 28%. Hypopharyngeal cancer is often found at a more advanced stage because early symptoms often do not occur. Laryngeal cancer often will cause hoarseness or coughing up blood, which can lead to an earlier diagnosis.
Experts measure relative survival rate statistics for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more aboutunderstanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) publication,Cancer Facts & Figures 2023, the ACS website, the International Agency for Research on Cancer website, the National Cancer Institute website, and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. (All sources accessed February 2023.)
Thenext section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.
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Types of Cancer
Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer Guide
Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer
Risk Factors and Prevention
Symptoms and Signs
Stages and Grades
Types of Treatment
About Clinical Trials
Coping with Treatment
Questions to Ask the Health Care Team
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How common is laryngeal cancer? The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for laryngeal cancer in the United States for 2023 are: About 12,380 new cases of laryngeal cancer (9,900 in men and 2,480 in women) About 3,820 people (3,070 men and 750 women) will die from laryngeal cancer.How common is hypopharyngeal cancer? ›
 In the United States, around 2500, hypopharyngeal cancers are diagnosed each year and account for about 3 to 5% of all head and neck cancers.Is laryngeal cancer the same as hypopharyngeal cancer? ›
Laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers start in the head and neck area. Cancer that starts in the larynx (voice box) is called laryngeal cancer. Cancer that starts in the hypopharynx (the lower part of the throat right behind the voice box) is called hypopharyngeal cancer.What is the success rate of larynx cancer? ›
Approximately 35% of laryngeal cancer is found in the supraglottis. The 5-year relative survival rate for this cancer is 45%. If the cancer is localized in the larynx, the 5-year relative survival rate is 61%. If the cancer is regional, the 5-year relative survival rate is 46%.Who has the highest rate of throat cancer? ›
The country of Hungary has the highest oropharyngeal cancer rate in the world, more than twice the rate found in the U.S. Approximately 54,010 adults in America will be diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer, with men facing rates twice as high as women.What is the number one risk factor for laryngeal cancer? ›
Smoking tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars) increases your risk of developing laryngeal cancer. It is one of the main risk factors for laryngeal cancer in the western world. Your cancer risk increases the longer you smoke and the more cigarettes smoked per day.What is the most common hypopharyngeal cancer? ›
Most hypopharyngeal cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer happens in cells that make up the lining of the throat.What is the commonest site of hypopharyngeal cancer? ›
Hypopharyngeal cancers are often named for their location, including pyriform sinus, lateral pharyngeal wall, posterior pharyngeal wall, or postcricoid pharynx (see images below). Most arise in the pyriform sinus.What is the most common cause of hypopharynx cancer? ›
Tobacco and alcohol use
Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for head and neck cancers (including cancers of the larynx and hypopharynx). People who smoke have a much higher risk for these cancers than people who don't smoke.
Squamous cell carcinoma composes over 90% of all laryngeal malignancies.
Around 90 out of 100 adults (around 90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis. Stage 1 laryngeal cancer is only in one part of the larynx and the vocal cords are still able to move. The cancer has not spread to nearby tissues, lymph nodes or other organs.Can you speak if you have laryngeal cancer? ›
If you have had all of your larynx removed (total laryngectomy), you will not be able to speak normally, because you'll no longer have vocal cords. There are a number of different ways you can learn to communicate again, although they can take weeks or months to learn.What is the life expectancy of someone with laryngeal cancer? ›
Introduction: The worldwide incidence rate of laryngeal cancer is declining. However, the 5-year survival for these patients has decreased in recent years from 66% to 63%. This may be due to changes in the treatment of the disease.What is the life expectancy after voice box removal? ›
Synopsis of key findings. The overall survival rate was 36.6%, with a mean survival period of 42.4 months after surgery. Patients with primary laryngeal cancers had better survival probabilities than those with hypopharyngeal cancers.What is the life expectancy after a total laryngectomy? ›
Approximately 43.1-44.1% of advanced LC were diagnosed in locally advanced status, which generally leads to poor prognosis (5-year survival rate between 39-55%) 3.Is laryngeal cancer rare? ›
Laryngeal cancer is a rare cancer that starts in the larynx (voice box). The voice box is a tube about 2 inches (5cm) long in adults.How long can you live with laryngeal cancer? ›
Overall, for all cases and types of laryngeal cancer, about 55% of patients survive for 10 years or more after diagnosis.What is the common cause of laryngeal cancer? ›
Alcohol and tobacco are the 2 main things that can increase your risk of developing laryngeal cancer. They're thought to contain chemicals that can damage the cells of the larynx. The more you drink or smoke, the higher your risk of developing laryngeal cancer.