Where Does Metastatic Throat Cancer Spread To?

Metastatic throat cancer is cancer that originated in the throat and has spread to other areas of the body. The cancer cells found outside of the throat are identical to those found in the throat; therefore, it is considered metastasis rather than a new or separate cancer.

When throat cancer spreads, there are specific areas where it is most likely to be found. These areas typically include different parts of the head, neck and chest. Metastatic throat cancer may be found in the:

  • Lip and mouth – Because these structures are close to the throat, it may be considered locally advanced throat cancer if cancer cells are found in this area.
  • Lymph nodes – When cancer cells are found in just one nearby lymph node, it may be considered stage 3 throat cancer. However, if multiple lymph nodes are affected, physicians will likely consider it stage 4, or metastatic throat cancer.
  • Lungs – Throat cancer that spreads to distant sites is most commonly found in the lungs.
  • Bones – Another distant site where throat cancer is often found is the bones.

Treatment for metastatic throat cancer

As with other cancers, the sooner throat cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and the better the chances are of the treatment being successful. When throat cancer has metastasized to distant structures like the lungs or bones, it is considered advanced or late-stage cancer, and treatment will likely involve multiple approaches.

Moffitt Cancer Center is dedicated to providing patients with any stage of throat cancer with the best possible treatment and care. The specialists within our Head and Neck Cancer Program take an individualized approach to treatment, giving our patients the best chance of a positive outcome and an improved quality of life. If you would like to learn more about receiving metastatic throat cancer treatment at Moffitt, fill out a new patient registration form online or call 1-888-663-3488.