Head and Neck Cancer Imaging

Part of the series Medical Radiology pp 81-102

Neoplasms of the Hypopharynx and Proximal Esophagus

  • Ilona M. SchmalfussAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center and University of Florida College of Medicine

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Cancers of the hypopharynx and proximal esophagus represent one of the most difficult diseases for head and neck surgeons to manage as they pose a significant diagnostic challenge. The trend of these cancers to grow in submucosal fashion, combined with the complex functions of the hypopharynx, esophagus and adjacent larynx, requires detailed mapping of the tumor boundaries to yield the most optimal treatment selection, determine the extent of possible surgical resection and subsequent reconstructive surgery. Consequently, cross-sectional imaging plays a critical role in evaluation of hypopharyngeal and esophageal cancers.