Objective: Early detection of hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is important for both an improved prognosis and less-invasive treatment. We retrospectively analyzed the detection rates of early hypopharyngeal SCCs according to the evaluation methods and the clinical management of early hypopharyngeal SCCs. Methods: Sixty-eight patients with early hypopharyngeal SCC who were diagnosed were reviewed. Results: The number of early hypopharyngeal cancer patients with asymptomatic or synchronous or metachronous esophageal cancer examined by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (NBI) was significantly higher than those examined by laryngopharyngeal endoscopy with NBI. The 3-year disease-specific survival rates according to T classification were as follows: Tis, 100%; T1, 100%; T2, 79.8%; and overall, 91.2%, respectively. Conclusions: Early-stage hypopharyngeal SCC can be cured by minimally invasive transoral surgery or radiotherapy. Observation of the pharynx using NBI in patients with a history of head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, or pharyngeal discomfort is very important, and routinely examining the pharynx with NBI, even in patients undergoing endoscopy for screening purposes, is recommended.
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