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Oropharyngeal cancer

Oropharyngeal cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from neorogovevayuschy epithelium of the oropharynx – the area from the upper surface of the soft palate to the level of the upper surface of the hyoid bone (or the bottom of the pit of the epiglottis): the base of the tongue, lower (front) surface of the soft palate and the tongue, front and rear Palatine arch, lingual-mindalikovye furrow, pharyngeal tonsils, the side and rear walls. 

Statistics (epidemiology) 
Oropharyngeal cancer is 0.7% in men and 0.09% in women in Russia. Most often, the lesion is localized in the area of the palatine tonsils-63.7%, in 20.8% - in the root of the tongue, in 9.1% - in the area of the posterior wall of the pharynx, in 5.2% - in the area of the soft palate. 
Most often, the disease is detected at the age of 40 to 54 years. Due to the hidden initial period, the disease is often diagnosed at stage 3-4, and in half of the cases, metastases in the lymph nodes of the neck are detected. 
Currently, an increase in the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer is associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 and 18. It is assumed that the determination of the HPV status of the tumor will have prognostic significance and will create prerequisites for preventive measures.

Provoking factors:

  • smoking
  • chewing tobacco
  • alcohol abuse
  • poor-quality, inconveniently installed dentures. 
  • carriage of the human papillomavirus
  • chronic inflammatory (sinusitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis) and precancerous processes (leukoplakia, erythroplakia of the pharynx, papillomas) of the oropharynx

Sometimes oropharyngeal cancer becomes a godsend when examined by an ENT doctor or at a dentist's appointment. To confirm the malignant origin, the following tests are performed:

  • Tumor biopsy during pharyngoscopy, followed by histological examination. To assess the prevalence of the process, rhinoscopy, otoscopy, and laryngoscopy are performed.
  • Computed tomography of the facial skeleton, neck and chest organs with intravenous contrast
  • Ultrasound of the neck and abdominal organs.
  • Fine needle aspiration biopsy or excision biopsy of the cervical lymph nodes followed by cytological or histological examination
  • Determination of HPV (Human papillomavirus) DNA of 16 and 18 subtypes in a tumor by PCR
  • PET CT.

Symptoms of the disease:

  • Discomfort, pain when swallowing, possibly radiating to the ear.
  • Bad breath
  • The appearance of seals and nodules on the neck

When these symptoms appear, it is necessary to contact an ENT doctor or oncologist as quickly as possible.
Timely diagnosis allows you to determine the prevalence of the disease and start timely treatment, which is based on the use of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, drug treatment, and, in some cases, surgical treatment (at the earliest stages of the disease or in case of tumor relapses after chemoradiotherapy). 
The prognosis depends on the stage of the tumor process, the sensitivity of the tumor to chemoradiotherapy, and the association of the tumor with HPV. When a complete regression of the neoplasm is achieved as a result of chemoradiotherapy, regular monitoring and examination of patients is indicated for the purpose of timely surgical intervention in the event of a relapse of the disease.

The Moscow Clinical Scientific and Practical Center named after A. S. Loginov solves the problem of oropharyngeal cancer by joint efforts of doctors of diagnostic services, surgeons, chemotherapists, radiologists, pathologists. 

Do not delay your visit to the specialists of our Center. This will help to diagnose the disease in a timely manner and choose the right treatment tactics. Doctors of the Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Head and Neck Tumors of the State Medical Institution of the Moscow State Medical Center named after A. S. Loginov are always ready to help you. 

GBUZ Moscow Clinical Scientific Center named after Loginov MHD