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May 1956

The Treatment of Carcinoma of the Hypopharynx and Cervical Esophagus

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the Department of Surgery, University of California School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;72(5):742-755. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01270230006002

The proper management of carcinoma of the hypopharynx, larynx, and cervical esophagus presents manifold problems. Threatening as it does the patient's ability to breathe, to swallow, and to speak, the carcinomatous lesion of this area can cause a degree of distress equal to or greater than that of almost any other malignancy. The problems to be dealt with in the care of such patients must be met surgically in the majority of cases. Although the wide resection necessarily includes removal of the larynx, most patients will accept loss of the ability to speak if the procedure provides a chance for reasonably comfortable prolongation of life. In many instances surgical treatment alone affords some measure of relief from the oftentimes intolerable manifestations of the malignant lesion in this area.

Radiation therapy, which is quite successful for malignancies in the region of the oral cavity and nasopharynx, is generally ineffective in the