Hypopharynx and cervical esophagus represent a critical location for a squamous cell carcinoma, a neoplasm that usually requires extensive surgery. Although morbidity and mortality of resection have markedly decreased over the past decade, the major issue in these patients remains quality of life owing to the need for combination with a laryngectomy to provide radical treatment. Chemoradiation therapy has the potential to downstage and even cure the disease without altering quality of life dramatically. Today, in the absence of randomized trials, the choice between surgery and definitive chemoradiotherapy should be based on clear information and the patient's preference. Salvage surgery is feasible and effective in selected patients.
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