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Early signs of Larynx cancer, its stages and symptoms

4th Aug, 2020
Early signs of Larynx cancer, its stages and symptoms

Life, at the age of 50, is beautiful. You have finally settled in your life, are moving on to retirement, kids have left the nest and overall ready to enjoy the golden periods of one’s life.

But when cancer hits, it can disrupt your life altogether. Not only does it affect you, but it also affects your family and your quality of life. However, we often forget, there are some types of cancer that are easily avoidable if taken a few precaution steps. One such type of cancer is the cancer of the Larynx.

Stages of Larynx Cancer

Laryngeal Cancer or throat Cancer is caused by the development of malignant cells in the tissues of the larynx and affects the vocal cords. During the various stages of Larynx Cancer, cancer cells spread and form a mass of cells called a tumor. The tumor may spread deeper into the larynx, or it may spread to other areas of the body (metastasize).

Risk factors of Larynx Cancer

Most often people above 50 years of age have been found to develop throat cancer and usually, men are more susceptible to it. Although no exact cause of larynx cancer is known, there are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of being affected by it. These include:

  • Use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless (chewing) tobacco, and snuff
  • Frequent use of alcohol
  • Human PapillomaVirus (HPV) infection
  • Reflux esophagitis or inflammation of the esophagus caused by a regular backup of acid from the stomach into the esophagus

What are the early signs of Larynx Cancer?

There are some early signs of Larynx cancer. If one experiences these, they should immediately consult a doctor.

  • Trouble swallowing and unexplained loss of weight
  • Change in voice in any way, or difficulty to speak
  • A sore throat or cough that does not go away
  • Swelling or development of a lump in the throat or neck along with pain
  • Bleeding in the throat or mouth
  • Difficulty in breathing, especially while exercising. Breathing may be noisy (stridor), especially when one breathes out or breathes in very strongly
  • Ear pain
  • Fever

By identifying these early signs of larynx cancer the survival rate can be improved.

Detection of Larynx Cancer:

Detection of Larynx cancer be easily performed via various examinations:

Physical Examination- This is done to check for a sore or lump in other areas of your mouth, throat, and neck.

  • Biopsy – Removal and examination of a small number of cells from the larynx or a lump in the neck, for cancerous formations under a microscope.
  • Imaging – X-rays of your larynx and neck. The images can show if there is an abnormal mass. 

Treatment of Larynx Cancer:

Treatment for cancer of the larynx can vary. It will depend on the stage of cancer and overall patient health. Treatment options may include:

  • Radiation therapy. This uses waves of nuclear energy to kill cancer cells on the larynx. It may be used for stage I and stage II cancers.
  • Surgery to remove the cancer cells. At stage III or stage IV cancer, surgery to remove the voice box (laryngectomy) may be necessary.
  • A combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. This may be used for stage III and stage IV cancers.

While the causes of Larynx cancer are still not known, with advanced technology and medications, Larynx cancer is easily treatable. One can overcome it by practicing basic practices and taking good care of their health by avoiding harmful addictions and leading a healthy lifestyle.