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The hypopharynx is the bottom part of the pharynx (throat), which is a hollow tube that is about five inches long. The pharynx starts behind the nose, goes down the neck (behind the voice box), and ends at the esophagus (the tube that goes from the throat to the stomach). The pharynx acts as the passageway for air and food that are on the way to the voice box or the esophagus. The hypopharynx is a combination of three anatomical subsites: The piriform sinus, the posterior hypopharyngeal wall, and the posterior cricoid.

Hypopharyngeal cancer is a disease that occurs when cancerous (malignant) cells develop in the tissues of the hypopharynx.