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Laryngeal Cancer

What is it?

Figure 3a Glottic Cancer Right Vocal 2 with captionVoice box cancer is relatively rare, but at the same time one of the most common cancers in the head and neck. This type of cancer frequently involves the vocal cords but may also involve other voicebox structures. While it is often seen in smokers, voice box cancer can also affect younger non-smoking individuals. Vocal cord cancers usually present with hoarseness but at later stages they may lead to pain, breathing and swallowing difficulties.

Treatment

Treatment recommendations depend on the extent of the tumor. Advanced laryngeal cancer cannot only involve the voice box but also the lymph nodes in the neck. Treatment may include surgery, radiation or chemo therapy, or a combination of all three modalities. While radiation often leads to unnecessary damage of tissue not involved by cancer, surgery can have several advantages.

Early-stage laryngeal cancer can often times be treated surgically on an outpatient basis. Dr. Weidenbecher is one of the few highly-specialized surgeons using minimally invasive approaches while maximizing preservation of voice and swallow function.

KTP laser has several advantages over other lasers (such as the CO2 laser) because it targets the highly vascular cancer and removes it by ablating (surgically removing) it. This allows Dr. Weidenbecher to preserve the surrounding healthy vocal cord tissue and obtain the best possible voice outcome for patients with early vocal cord cancer. In contrast, advanced-staged laryngeal cancers may require more extensive surgery.

Cancer of the voice box is most commonly found along the vocal folds. Patients often present with progressive hoarseness. If found early, vocal cord cancer treatment leads to excellent functional outcomes.

To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5791.

Our Doctors/Medical Providers

Mark S. Weidenbecher, MD

Mark S. Weidenbecher, MD

Otolaryngology

203 ratings / 42 reviews