Philadelphia Ear, Nose and Throat Associates: PENTA

Cancer

T1B squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) involving both vocal folds. From Sataloff, R.T., Hawkshaw, M.J., Sataloff, J.B., DeFatta, R.A., and Eller, R.L. Atlas of Laryngoscopy, Third Edition. San Diego, California: Plural Publishing, Inc.; 2012.

T1B squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) involving both vocal folds. From Sataloff, R.T., Hawkshaw, M.J., Sataloff, J.B., DeFatta, R.A., and Eller, R.L. Atlas of Laryngoscopy, Third Edition. San Diego, California: Plural Publishing, Inc.; 2012.


 What about cancer of the vocal folds?

Cancers of the larynx are common, and are usually associated with smoking, although cancers also occur occasionally in non-smokers (Figure 11).  In many cases, the reason is unknown.  However, it appears as if other conditions such as chronic reflux laryngitis and laryngeal papillomas may be important predisposing factors.  Persistent hoarseness is one of the most common symptoms.  Laryngeal cancers may also present with throat pain, or referred ear pain.  If diagnosed early, they respond to therapy particularly well and are often curable.  Treatment usually requires radiation, surgery, or a combination of the two modalities.  It is usually possible to preserve or restore voice, especially if the cancer is detected early.