Cancer is a class of diseases in which abnormal cells multiply and divide uncontrollably in the body. These abnormal cells form malignant growths called tumors. Throat cancer refers to cancer of the voice box, the vocal cords, and other parts of the throat, such as the tonsils and oropharynx.
Throat cancer is often grouped into two categories: pharyngeal cancer and laryngeal cancer. Pharyngeal cancer forms in the pharynx. This is the hollow tube that runs from behind your nose to the top of your windpipe. Laryngeal cancer forms in the larynx, which is your voice box.
Throat cancer is relatively uncommon when compared to other cancers. The National Cancer Institute estimates 1.1 percent of adults will be diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer within their lifetime. An estimated 0.3 percent of adults will be diagnosed with laryngeal cancer within their lifetime.