Head & Neck

Cancer of The Larynx


The larynx, also called the voice box.is the part of the body that allows  to produce sounds and speech. The larynx contains the vocal cords (glottis), which vibrate when air passes through..

Cancer of the larynx can occur on the glottis (most laryngeal cancers are there), the supraglottis (the area above the vocal cords that includes the epiglottis), or the subglottis (the area that connects the larynx to the trachea).

Cancer of the larynx affects more men then women, although more women are developing it today due to an increase in smoking in the female population.

Causes of Cancer of the Larynx

Some known risk factors for cancer of the larynx include:

smoking: The risk of laryngeal cancer increases up to 30 times for smokers..

alcohol: Heavy drinkers more than double their risk for this type of cancer, and combining smoking with alcohol can increase the risks even more than either drinking or smoking alone.

gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):.

human papillomavirus (HPV):

gender: More men than women are diagnosed with cancer of the larynx.

age: This type of cancer is usually detected in people between 50 and 75 years old.

weakened immune system:.

Symptoms and Complications of Cancer of the Larynx

The symptoms of laryngeal cancer depend on where in the larynx the tumour is located. Cancer on the vocal cords can often be detected early because the main symptom is hoarseness. Most people go hoarse from time to time, but if the hoarseness doesn’t go away in two weeks, it should be suspected.

Symptoms that the cancer has spread or is occurring in another part of the larynx include:

a cough that doesn’t go away

persistent sore throat

breathing difficulties, or feeling that something is catching in the throat

ear pain

a lump or mass in the neck or throat

might be removed as well, making neck movement more difficult. If a tracheostomy was performed, the stoma (opening in the throat) is sometimes coughing up of blood

There are a few complications that can result from laryngeal cancer.

Airway obstruction:

Difficulty eating: After surgery, it may become difficult to swallow certain consistencies of food. Those undergoing radiotherapy may have trouble swallowing or even chewing. Chemotherapy can cause nausea and vomiting. A good, healthy diet is vital when recuperating from cancer, so it’s important that adequate nutrition be maintained throughout the treatment.

Cancer spread: It’s possible that the cancer may spread to other areas of the body.

Voice loss: Treatment that involves removing the entire larynx makes normal speech impossible. In this case, alternate methods of speaking need to be learned. These are:

esophageal speech: This is the most basic form of alternate speech, which is done by swallowing air and creating sound by expelling it.

tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP): A small one-way valve is placed between the trachea and esophagus. By taking in air through their stoma into the lungs, then covering their stoma (from the tracheostomy), sounds can be made through the mouth.

electrolarynx: When you hold this electronic device next to the skin of the throat or the corner of the mouth, it produces a mechanical voice. Muscle movements stimulate the machine to make sounds.

While these new methods of speech are being learned, other ways of communicating will be needed. This might mean keeping a “magic slate” or pad and pencils easily available


Dr Professor Brigadier Arshad Chohan is available at: 

*   Dr Chohan’s ENT, 1st floor Rafay  Mall (Near Chour Chowk), Peshawar Road Rawalpindi.    03315680471 , 03145118532

  •     Timing:
    • Professor Brig (r) Dr Arshad Chohan MCPS, FICS, FCPS       11 am – 6 pm daily except Sunday

      Professor Brig (r) Dr Amir Sabih Haidri, MCPS,  FCPS       6.30 pm – 9 pm daily except Sunday & Monday


Email; drchohansent@gmail.com

Websites:    www.entspecialists.pk


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