know what the symptoms are and how to avoid them

Laryngeal cancer occurs predominantly in men over 40 years of age and is one of the most common among those that affect the head and neck region. This type of neoplasm represents about 25% of malignant tumors that affect this area and 2% of all malignant diseases.

Located in the neck, above the opening of the trachea, the larynx is an organ responsible for several functions in the human body. Most cases of cancer in this region develop in the glottis, part of the organ responsible for housing the vocal cords.

The main factors related to the development of laryngeal cancer are smoking and alcohol consumption, especially a combination of the two.


Risk factors

Clinical oncologist Thiago Bueno de Oliveira, president of the Brazilian Head and Neck Cancer Group (GBCO), warns that smoking of any product, including cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookahs, straw cigarettes and even electronic cigarettes, increases by 10 times the chance of developing laryngeal cancer.

Check out other risk factors:

  • Stress and misuse of voice;
  • Excessive body fat;
  • Exposure to some chemicals such as cutting oil, asbestos, wood dust, leather dust, cement dust, grain dust, textile dust, formaldehyde, silica, coal soot, organic solvents and pesticides.

Symptoms and diagnosis

The patient may notice some symptoms during the course of the disease. However, they can vary depending on the location and stage of the cancer. The main signs are:

  • Hoarseness or changes in voice;
  • Difficulty swallowing food or a feeling of something stuck in the throat;
  • Persistent sore throat or ear;
  • Lump in the neck;
  • constant cough;
  • Breathing problems;
  • Weight loss for no reason.

There are cases where the symptoms may not be related to laryngeal cancer. However, you need to be aware and consult a specialist doctor for a more accurate assessment. The otolaryngologist is the specialist indicated for an initial consultation.

In addition to the clinical examination, the doctor may request a laryngoscopy, an examination that can be done in the office. The collection of lesion fragments, called a biopsy, is indicated if the disease is suspected, for the confirmation or not of cancer.


About 30% of laryngeal cancer cases could be avoided with the adoption of some measures. Among them are:

  • Do not smoke any product and avoid passive smoking;
  • Avoid excessive and constant consumption of alcoholic beverages;
  • Maintain adequate body weight;
  • Take care of voice health.

Is laryngeal cancer curable?

When diagnosed at an early stage, laryngeal cancer is curable in about 90% of cases. But when the individual begins to treat this disease at a late stage, the tumor may be very large or have already spread through the body, reducing the chances of cure.

Most patients are diagnosed at an intermediate stage, when the chances of cure reach 60%. However, according to the scientists, the sooner the proposed treatment is assertive and the tumor is located, the greater the chances of a cure coming in a few months.

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