Laryngeal Cancer Common Symptoms And Treatment

Your larynx, a portion of your throat, is affected by laryngeal cancer. You can speak, breathe, and swallow thanks to your larynx. It has your vocal cords in it. When cells in your larynx grow out of control, cancer of the larynx or vocal cords can result. These malignant (cancerous) cells proliferate, penetrate tissues, and harm your body.

This cancer can affect any part of your larynx namely the Supraglottis or the upper part of the larynx, Glottis is the middle portion, and Subglottis is the lower portion.

Laryngeal cancer- what are the symptoms?

The early indications of laryngeal carcinoma can be mistaken for other illnesses. It's simple to mistake the most typical symptom, hoarseness that doesn't go away after a few weeks, for a cold. For a precise diagnosis if you encounter any of the symptoms listed below, consult a healthcare professional −

  • Soreness of the throat or cough that is not healed.

  • Hoarseness or other voice abnormalities that persist beyond two weeks.

  • Any discomfort or any issues you have swallowing.

  • A lump in your throat or neck.

  • Difficulty producing voice sounds (dysphonia).

  • Your ears hurt.

Seek doctor’s advice when you notice any of these symptoms −

  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea).

  • Loud and high-pitched breathing (stridor).

  • A sensation of something being in your throat (Globus sensation).

  • Spitting blood (hemoptysis).

Laryngeal cancer-what causes it?

A sexually transmitted infection (STI) called HPV (human papillomavirus) can lead to laryngeal cancer in some cases.

If you frequently use tobacco or alcohol, your risk of developing it is also significantly increased.

How to diagnose Laryngeal Cancer?

Your symptoms and the medical background will be discussed with you by a healthcare professional. Your throat and neck will be examined during the physical examination.

You'll most likely require more testing after the initial examination to confirm a diagnosis.

Tests for diagnosing this Laryngeal Cancer

Among the diagnostic exams are −

  • MRI and CT Scans − Scanners that provide images of the inside of the body in great detail include CT and MRI scans. They can display a tumor's size and location. If your cancer has progressed to your lungs, a chest X-ray is required.

  • Laryngoscopy −An endoscope is a small, illuminated tube that a healthcare professional uses to inspect your larynx during a laryngoscopy.

  • PET scan − A small, safe dosage of a radioactive chemical is injected into your vein during a PET scan. Areas with cancer cells get highlighted.

  • Biopsies − A little piece of irregular tissue from your larynx is removed during a biopsy so that it may be examined under a microscope. The cells will be examined by a professional called a pathologist, who will search for certain protein markers. Some cancer therapies exclusively affect cancer cells that bear certain protein markers.

Treatment options for Laryngeal Cancer

Laryngeal cancer treatment involves −

  • Radiation therapy − For eliminating Laryngeal cancer cells, radiation oncologists use high-energy radiation beams. To limit harm to nearby healthy tissue, the radiation solely affects the tumor.

  • Chemotherapy − Medical oncologists administer drugs to stop the spread of cancer cells or to limit their growth. Chemotherapy administered intravenously is common (through a vein). Throughout chemotherapy, there may be side effects that a medical oncologist can help you manage.

  • Immunotherapy − This therapy makes use of your immune system, a natural defense mechanism in your body, to fight cancer. Biologic therapy is also called immunotherapy.

  • Targeted therapy − Certain proteins are used in targeted therapy to specifically target cancer cells and stop them from proliferating.

  • Surgeries − If this cancer is detected in the earlier stages, the tumor can be removed via surgery. The larynx can be kept intact. A laryngectomy, a procedure in which your entire larynx is removed, is frequently required for advanced malignancy.

You might receive multiple treatments. For eliminating any cancer cells that may have survived the surgery, for instance, patients occasionally receive chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

What are the different kinds of Surgery Available?

Surgery gets rid of cancer. Surgery for laryngeal cancer aims to remove the tumor while keeping the larynx's functionality intact. Your larynx may need to be partially or removed by the surgeon.

Surgical techniques comprise −

  • Cordectomy − Removes all or a portion of a vocal cord, typically through the lips. Supraglottic laryngectomy: It involves removing the supraglottis, or upper section of the larynx, either by the mouth or the neck.

  • Hemilaryngectomy − This procedure preserves your voice by removing half of your larynx.

  • Partial Laryngectomy − Part of your larynx is removed in a partial laryngectomy so you can still speak.

  • Total Laryngectomy − The entire larynx is removed through the neck during a total laryngectomy.

  • Thyroidectomy − Removal of the entire or a portion of the thyroid gland.

  • Laser surgery − Uses a laser beam to remove a tumor without using any blood

How to find the best treatment for this cancer?

Your care team will probably advise surgery or radiation therapy for early laryngeal cancer. Both have been proven to be efficient via research. The cure for cancer depends on several considerations, including −

  • Which medical procedure will enable the patient to speak and swallow?

  • Age of the patient.

  • The quality of your voice.

  • Does the patient smoke now or smoked in the past?

  • The assistance of your loved ones.

Can Laryngeal cancer be Prevented?

Not all cancers are preventable. However, adopting healthy habits can reduce your risk of contracting cancer, especially laryngeal cancer −

  • Avoid using tobacco products and stop smoking.

  • Reduce your alcohol intake and seek treatment for an alcohol use disorder.

  • Adopt a balanced diet.

Is screening available for this Cancer?

There is no routine laryngeal cancer screening test. But, if you experience hoarseness, other voice changes, or a persistent cough, consult a medical professional. Early cancer screening identifies the disease when it is most treatable.


Speak with your healthcare practitioner if you experience laryngeal cancer symptoms like hoarseness or other vocal changes, a persistent cough, or difficulty swallowing. Stage 0 and stage 1 laryngeal carcinoma have high survival rates when treated early. Early cancer treatment can help you keep your ability to speak and eat. Inquire with your medical professional about the success rates of your current cancer.

Updated on: 11-Apr-2023


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