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The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Oropharyngeal Cancer

A disease in which cancerous cells are found in the tissues of the oropharynx – the middle part of the throat (also called the pharynx) . This includes the soft palate/back of the mouth, the base of the tongue and the tonsils. The pharynx is a hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose (nasopharynx) and goes down to the neck (hypopharynx) to become part of the esophagus, the tube that goes to the stomach. Air and food pass through the pharynx on the way to the windpipe (trachea) or the esophagus.