I've read on various places on the net that the prognosis for throat cancer is generally good, while the prognosis for "esophagal" cancer is generally quite poor.
This confuses me. Aren't the throat and esophagus essentially the same? Michael Douglas for example was in the news for making a recovery from Stage IV throat cancer. I tend to think of "throat" as closer to the mouth, but still, why should a cancer further up the gullet be easier to treat than one lower down?
Oh no, they are NOT the same. Throat cancer is limited to the throat (pharynx and larynx) and Esophageal cancer is limited to the esophagus. BTW: neither is "easy" to treat and both can spread. In fact, Michael Douglas was misdiagnosed at first and he received very intense tx. in r/t to the staging, so it wasn't any "easy road" for him.
The throat contains blood vessels, pharyngeal muscles, the trachea (windpipe) and the esophagus. The epiglottis separates the esophagus from the trachea and prevents inhalation of food or drink.
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