Laryngeal cancer, or cancer of the larynx or voice box, usually refers to an abnormal growth of tissue in the larynx. This growth is called a tumour and develops when the cells in the larynx divide rapidly and generates an extra tissue. Laryngeal cancer can appear on or above the vocal chords. This type of cancer is a common head and neck cancer in Singapore and is strongly associated with smoking.
There are three types of laryngeal cancer:
- Glottic cancer that affects the vocal cords
- Supraglottic cancer that affects tissues below the vocal cords
- Subglottic cancer that affects tossues below the vocal cords
Some of the major risk factors of laryngeal cancer is tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol intake
- A lump in the neck
- Bloody nasal discharge
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Voice changes or hoarseness
The treatment of laryngeal cancer rely on where the cancer is, on what stage it is on, and your overall general health. A team of specialist surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, and radiologists will evaluate your conditions and recommend a treatment plan in order to achieve the best outcome.
Your doctor might suggest surgery or radiation therapy to treat your cancer, if your cancer is still in the primary stages and has not metastasised yet to regional sites. A combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy will be recommended if your cancer has reached an advanced stage or has metastasised to regional sites.