Smoking tobacco causes most laryngeal cancers. Heavy smokers who have smoked tobacco for a long time are most at risk for laryngeal cancer.
Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop laryngeal cancer as opposed to people who don't drink alcohol.
Researchers are studying the influence of HPV infection in the throat to know whether it can increase the risk of laryngeal cancer. HPV is basically a group of viruses that have the potential to infect human body.
Indirect laryngoscopy: A small mirror with handle is used to see the patient’s throat and larynx. It is reviewed whether the vocal cords can move normally while making sounds.
Direct laryngoscopy: A lighted tube (laryngoscope) is used to see your throat and larynx. The lighted tube can be flexible or rigid.
Biopsy: A small piece of tissue is removed to look for cancer cells with a rigid laryngoscope under general anesthesia.
Other symptoms may include:
People with early stage of laryngeal cancer can be treated and controlled with surgery or radiation. Combination of treatments would be required for patients suffering with advanced laryngeal cancer. The choice of treatment mainly depends on the overall health of the patient and the extent of spread of cancer.
Surgery is performed to remove the affected cell with the help of a scalpel or laser. Laser surgery is done with a laryngoscope.
Removing part of the larynx: Smoking tobacco causes most laryngeal cancers. Heavy smokers who have smoked tobacco for a long time are most at risk for laryngeal cancer.
Removing the complete larynx: In this method, the surgeon removes the complete larynx and some nearby tissues. Some lymph nodes in the area may also be removed.
Radiation therapy takes the help of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. People in the early stage can opt for radiation therapy instead of surgery.
Advantage of using radiation over surgery in early stage cancer is that your voice can be preserved with the use of radiation with the same response as that with the surgery.
Nowadays treatment of choice for the early stage laryngeal Cancer (Glottre) is Radiotherapy.
Chemotherapy is the usage of specialized drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs are mostly given through a vein (intravenous).
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be given in combination for locally advanced cancers.
The side effects usually depend on the type and amount of drugs used. However, the drugs can also damage the normal cells in some cases.
Some people with laryngeal cancer receive a type of treatment known as targeted therapy. It may be given along with radiation therapy.
Cetuximab (Erbitux) was the first targeted therapy approved for laryngeal cancer. Cetuximab combines with cancer cells and influences the growth of cancer cell without damaging the normal cells. Cetuximab may be given through a vein once a week for several weeks.
During treatment, your health care team will watch for signs of problems. Some people experience side effects like rash, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and headache.