[Healthline] Laryngeal cancer: causes, risk factors and symptoms


What is laryngeal cancer?

Laryngeal cancer is a type of throat cancer that can affect the larynx. The larynx is, in other words, your “voice box”. Consists of cartilage and muscles that give you the ability to communicate verbally.

This type of cancer can damage speech. When not treated quickly, it can spread to other parts of the body.

According to the National Cancer Institute, head and neck cancers account for about 4% of all cancers in the United States. Survival rates for this type of cancer are based on the exact location of the cancer and how early or late it is detected.

Created for the National Cancer Institute, http://www.cancer.gov

According to the American Cancer Society, 90% of people with stage 1 cancer of the glottis can live longer than 5 years. The glottis is the part of the larynx that contains the vocal cords.

However, 59% of people with stage 1 cancer in the structures above the glottis, or epiglottis, can survive for more than five years. The epiglottis includes the epiglottis, which closes the larynx when you swallow to prevent food from entering the lungs.

What are the symptoms of laryngeal cancer?

Unlike other cancers, the symptoms of laryngeal cancer can be easily detected. Some common symptoms are:

+ Hoarse voice

+ Difficulty breathing

+ Coughing excessively

+ Coughing up blood

+ Neck pain

+ Sore throat

+ Ear pain

+ Difficulty swallowing food

+ Swollen neck

+ A lump in the neck

+ Lose weight

These symptoms are not always present. However, you should consult your doctor if symptoms persist for more than 1 week. Early detection and diagnosis is very important because it is related to the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

What causes laryngeal cancer?

Throat cancer typically occurs when healthy cells suffer prolonged damage and begin to proliferate. These cells can turn into tumours. Laryngeal cancer is tumor cells that originate in your larynx.

Mutations that damage cells in the larynx are usually caused by long-term smoking. But it can also be the result of:

+ Alcohol addiction

+ Poor nutrition

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

Immune system problems

+ High exposure to toxic substances, such as asbestos

Certain genetic diseases, such as Fanconi anemia

Who is at risk for laryngeal cancer?

Certain lifestyle-related factors may increase the risk of developing laryngeal cancer. Consists of:

+ Smoking

+ Chewing tobacco

+ Intolerance to enough fruits and vegetables

+ Using large quantities of processed food

+ Drink wine and beer

+ Exposure to asbestos

Family history of throat cancer

How is laryngeal cancer diagnosed?

The diagnosis of laryngeal cancer begins with taking your medical history. If you have symptoms that suggest cancer, your doctor will do a thorough physical exam and run other tests.

The first test to do is usually a laryngoscopy. The doctor will use a small binocular or set of mirrors to examine the larynx.

If your doctor finds any abnormalities, they may order a biopsy. A lab can test this small tissue sample for cancer.

Imaging is not a commonly used method to identify laryngeal cancer. However, tests like a CT scan or an MRI can help doctors see if the cancer has spread.


If you are diagnosed with cancer, the next step will be to stage it. Cancer stages indicate how far the cancer has spread. Oncologists often use the TNM system to stage laryngeal cancer:

+ BILLION represents the size of the primary tumor, and whether there has been infiltration of surrounding tissue.

+ WOMEN used to confirm the extent of spread to the lymph node.

+ USA indicates that the cancer has metastasized or spread to other organs or distant lymph nodes.

According to the American Cancer Society, most laryngeal cancers will metastasize to the lungs.

Small tumors that have not metastasized or spread to the lymph nodes are usually the least serious of all cancers. As tumors proliferate, they become very dangerous. Survival rates drop rapidly once the cancer has metastasized or spread to the lymph nodes. Such a condition would be classified as a more advanced or advanced cancer.

What treatments are chosen for laryngeal cancer?

The course of treatment will be based on how advanced the cancer is.

Your doctor will use radiation therapy or surgery early in the treatment. Surgery is usually used to remove the tumor. The risks from cancer surgery are not uncommon. It tends to happen if the cancer has been around for a long time and has spread. You may notice:

+ Difficulty breathing

+ Difficulty swallowing

+ Neck deformity

+ Change or even lose voice

+ Permanent neck scar

Then, radiation therapy will be given to try to kill any remaining cancer cells. Your doctor may only use radiation therapy to treat small cancers.

Chemotherapy is another type of cancer treatment. May:

Kill the remaining cancer cells after surgery and radiation.

+ Used in combination with radiation therapy to treat cancer when surgery is not suitable.

Treatment of symptoms of advanced cancers that cannot be completely removed.

Your doctor may recommend an initiation course other than surgery. This usually happens when it’s just a small tumor that doesn’t require surgery. Or it may be when it’s too late for surgery to have maximum effect. Either way, the goal of treatment is to preserve your quality of life.

More advanced stages of laryngeal cancer often require a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Referring to the problem of damage to the larynx

You may lose part or all of your larynx during surgery. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to speak anymore. Speech therapy can help find new ways to communicate.

If doctors remove the entire larynx, other types of surgery can restore speech. Your voice won’t sound the same. However, most can regain some ability to speak using a variety of medical procedures.

Esophageal speech is a method where therapists will teach you to swallow air and re-breathe it with your mouth.

A procedure called tracheoesophageal puncture creates an easier route for air to flow from the lungs to the mouth. Doctors connect the windpipe and esophagus with an instrument called a stoma. And then put a valve right at the front of your throat. When you cover the valve part with your finger, you will be able to pronounce.

The electrolarynx (electrolarynx) is an electrical device that can produce mechanical speech.

Other methods

During treatment for laryngeal cancer, you may find other ways to help, such as:

+ Meditation

+ Yoga practice

+ Acupuncture

+ Massage therapy

How to prevent laryngeal cancer?

To reduce your risk of developing laryngeal cancer, you can make some specific lifestyle changes, such as:

If you smoke, limit or completely use the drug by all means.

+ If you are going to drink beer or wine, try to limit your intake.

+ Use safety equipment if there is a risk of exposure to asbestos or other hazardous substances at work.

+ Eat healthy, especially supplement with foods rich in antioxidants.

Positive things when treating laryngeal cancer

The key to successful treatment of laryngeal cancer is to start treatment as early as possible when detected. Survival rates are much higher when the cancer has not metastasized or spread to the lymph nodes.

Link to the original article: https://www.healthline.com/health/laryngeal-cancer#outlook

Last browsed April 9, 2018

Translated by: Quoc Dung

Self-translated Vietnamese article at Ykhoa.org, please do not reup!

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