Larynx (Voice box) Cancer

What is Larynx (Voice Box) Cancer?

Laryngeal cancer, or cancer of the larynx or voice box, refers to the abnormal growth of tissue called tumour in the larynx.  It develops when the cells in the larynx divide uncontrollably and produce extra tissue. Laryngeal cancer can occur on or above the vocal cords. This form of cancer is strongly associated with smoking.

There are three types of laryngeal cancer:

  • Glottic cancer that affects the vocal cords
  • Supraglottic cancer that affects tissues above the vocal cords
  • Subglottic cancer that affects tissues below the vocal cords

Tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are the main risk factors of laryngeal cancer.

  • A lump in the neck
  • Bloody nasal discharge
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Earache
  • Voice changes or hoarseness

Treatment of laryngeal cancer depends on the location of the cancer, the cancer stage, and patient’s overall health. A team of specialist surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists will evaluate the patient’s condition and suggest an individualised treatment plan for the best outcome.

  • If the cancer is still in primary stage without metastasising  to regional sites, either surgical excision of the tumour or radiation therapy can be used to treat the cancer.
  • If the cancer has reached an advanced stage or metastasised to regional sites, combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy should be followed by surgical resection of the tumour.

Related Specialties