The oropharynx is found in the middle portion of the throat and serves as a conduit that starts with the nose and ends in the esophagus and into the stomach. It includes the base of the tongue, the soft palate, the pharyngeal walls and the tonsils. And according to a new study, the rate of cancer in the oropharynx is on the rise for young adults.
There are many factors that contribute to oropharyngeal cancer, but chief among them are:
- Alcohol consumption
- Being infected with human papilloma virus (HPV)
Apparently, researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have found out that there was a 60% increase from 1973 and 2009 in cancers of the base of the tongue, tonsils, soft palate and pharynx in people younger than 45.
There are a couple of things you can pay attention to in order to determine if you have oropharyngeal cancer:
- Persistent sore throat
- Painful or difficulty of swallowing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Vocal changes
- Ear pain
- A lump in the neck, back of the mouth or throat
If you have any of these symptoms, or feel that you might be at risk, the expertly trained doctors and staff at Alexandria Otolaryngology Associates can help you determine the best course of action. Schedule an appointment today.