Larynx and hypopharynx
Squamous cell carcinoma
Supraglottic squamous cell carcinoma

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 23 March 2018, last major update November 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Supraglottic squamous cell carcinoma [title]

Table of Contents
Definition / general | Treatment
Cite this page: Pernick, N. Supraglottic squamous cell carcinoma. website. Accessed March 23rd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • 30% of all cases
  • Usually detected late; early symptom is often referred pain to ear
  • By definition, arise above true vocal cords from epiglottis, ventricle, angle between epiglottis and ventricle, aryepiglottic fold, arytenoid body and false vocal cord
  • Does not invade thyroid cartilage as long as lower edge is above ventricle and anterior commissure
  • Only 1% invade glottis
  • 40% have nodal metastases, often clinically undetected
  • Epiglottic cancer: either above or below level of hyoid bone (hyoepiglottic ligament); if above hyoid bone, can invade base of tongue
  • Ventricular band / aryepiglottic fold cancer: rich lymphatic supply, often cervical node metastases
  • Horizontal supraglottic partial laryngectomy (to preserve the voice)
  • Radiation therapy not useful due to presence of necrosis