Clinical Presentation

Disease at any site in the pharynx can present with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), dysphonia (change in voice quality), otalgia (earache), cranial nerve palsies or cervical lymphadenopathy. In the nasopharynx, tumours may evoke deafness, otitis media, epistaxis (nose bleeds), nasal obstruction or palsy of cranial nerves (especially II-VI, IX, X, XII) while those in the oropharynx usually present with sore throat or dysphagia. Hypopharyngeal masses may cause dysphagia or signs of laryngeal involvement, such as hoarseness or a whistling sound during inspiration (stridor).

Patients with laryngeal disease may present with alterations in the voice, particularly hoarseness or stridor.

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