Dr Sonia's ENT

ENT Specialist, Head & Neck Surgeon,Bangalore
Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal

ENT Health Articles

Cancer Voicebox [Larynx]

Posted on June 23, 2010 at 5:27 AM

Cancer Larynx [voice box]

What are the risk factors for cancer larynx?

• Smoking

• Alcohol Intake

• Acid reflux [Laryngopharyngeal reflux]

• Radiation

• Other: viral [HPV], certain occupational

Are men affected more than women in cancer larynx?

Yes men are affected 4 times more than women though the incidence in women has risen significantly due to the prevalence of smoking and alcohol intake in women worldwide

What age group is affected by cancer larynx?

Age above 50 is the age most commonly affected though it can occur in other ages also.

What are the symptoms for cancer larynx?

• Persistent hoarseness- one of the early symptoms of cancer vocal cords.

• Difficulty in swallowing

• Pain on swallowing

• Throat pain

• Noisy breathing[ stridor]

• Difficulty in breathing

• Lump in neck

• Blood tinged spit/sputum

• Cough

• Ear pain -especially one sided

How is cancer larynx diagnosed?

• After taking your history, your ENT specialist will perform a basic Head and Neck examination.

• A mirror or a telescope/endoscope will be used to view the vocal cords and rest of the larynx [voice box] and pharynx [food pipe or throat].

• The neck will be examined for lumps, mobility of the voice box, and thyroid enlargement.

• For adequate diagnosis and planning treatment a direct laryngoscopy and biopsy will have to be performed.

What is the treatment for cancer larynx?

• If diagnosed early cancer vocal cords is one of the cancers with excellent cure rates.

• Treatment depends on the site and extent of involvement + consideration of other health issues the person may have.

• Treatment options

o Surgery

o Laser surgery

o Radiation therapy

o Chemotherapy

o Combination therapy

How can cancer larynx be prevented?

  • Do not smoke
  • Do not drink alcohol excessively
  • 90 % cancer larynx patients smoke and drink hence avoidance of these bad habits go a long way in prevention
  • Prompt consultation with an ENT specialist in your locality in case of persistent hoarseness is an important step in early detection and cure.


Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal


Consultant ENT & Head & Neck Surgery

Sonia & Prateek's ENT Speciality Center,Sahakaranagar, Bangalore




ENT Specialist Bangalore

Categories: Voice, Throat, Head and Neck Cancer