Often, cancers of the nose and throat are considered together by doctors because of certain similarities. Among the similarities are the causes. Most people who have cancers of the nose and throat use tobacco, drink alcohol, or both.
Nose and throat cancers occur in the voice box (larynx), the hollow spaces located in the bones around the nose (paranasal sinuses), the nasal passages and upper throat (nasopharynx), and the tonsils. Cancer of the mouth is very similar to nose and throat cancers in a number of ways (see Mouth Growths: Cancerous Mouth Growths). Because these cancers can cause death, a person with nose and throat cancer that has not responded to treatment should make all necessary plans. The person should have frank discussions with the doctor about wishes for medical care and end-of-life care (see Death and Dying: When Death Is Near).
Last full review/revision July 2012 by Richard V. Smith, MD