Larynx Cancer

What is larynx (voice box) cancer?

The larynx is a breathing and voice organ located on the upper part of the anterior frontal pipe of the neck. It has a simple box appearance and is an organ made of cartilage, membranes and ligaments. The structure of the throat is different and more complicated than the other parts of the respiratory tract. Cancers of this region are named larynx or voice box cancer.

What are the signs for larynx (voice box) cancer?

Signs and symptoms of larynx cancer may include the following:

  • Cough
  • Changes in your voice, such as hoarseness or incomprehensible talking.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Ear ache (otalgia)
  • Non-healing lumps or sore
  • Sore throat
  • Weight loss

What are the causes of larynx (voice box) cancer?

Genetic mutations of cells cause cancer. Accumulation of these cells may create a tumor in the organ.

The reason of the mutation that causes the larynx cancer is not exactly clear. However, your doctor will determine the factors that increase the risk.

What are types of larynx (voice box) cancer?

Voice box is closely connected to the larynx located immediately below the throat.

  • Hypopharyngeal cancer (laryngopharyngeal Cancer)
  • Glottis cancer
  • Supraglottic cancer
  • Subglottic cancer

What are the risk factors for larynx (voice box) cancer?

Factors that increase the risk of voice box cancer include:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Human papilloma virus(HPV).
  • Unhealthy Diet (ex. Fast-food)
  • Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

How to diagnose larynx (voice box) cancer?

Your doctor may recommend followings to diagnose voice box cancer:

  • Use of a scope for a closer look at your throat.
  • Taking a tissue sample for examination.
  • Imaging tests.

What are the treatment options for larynx (voice box) cancer?

Treatment options are determined by many factors such as location and stage of the voice box cancer, type of the involved cells, the overall health and the personal preferences. Discuss risks and advantages of every option with your physician. The patient and their doctors can jointly determine the appropriate treatment options.

  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug treatment
  • Rehabilitation after treatment

Treatment for voice box cancer generally causes complications that require working with specialists to restore the ability to swallow, eat solid food and speak.

Your doctor may discuss potential side effects and complications of the treatment with you.