The pharynx (FAIR-INKS) is the medical term for the throat. The larynx is the voice box. Together with the mouth, they provide a starting point for several types of cancer. A good preventative measure is not to irritate this portion of the body. Smoking and air pollution are two environmental factors that should be eliminated as part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular health checkups are a good idea, too. Hoarseness that persists for more than a week or two should always be checked by an ear, nose and throat specialist. Identifying any cancer in its earliest stages is essential in treating it. The success rate for curing cancer at this point in its development has risen dramatically in recent years. Advances in laser surgery and radiation treatments can remove the cancerous cells before they can spread to nearby tissues. If you've been experiencing hoarseness for any length of time, a prompt examination is advisable.