When malignant or cancerous cells develop in the larynx, it is laryngeal cancer, a type of throat cancer. Now let’s explain here what the larynx is. It is the voice box and the location of it is in our throat. We can breathe, speak and swallow with the help of this organ. The larynx has vocal cords, which help us to speak. The three parts of the larynx are the supraglottis (upper part), the glottis (middle part) and the subglottis (lower part). In most cases, cancer develops in the squamous cells that form the inner lining of the larynx.
When you feel the symptoms of laryngeal cancer, you must consult the best head & neck cancer doctor in Kolkata. The following are some of the symptoms:
- Breathing difficulties
- Hoarseness in the voice
- Cough with blood
- Pain in the neck
- Excessive coughing
- Sore throat
- Ear pain
- Swelling in the neck
- Trouble in swallowing food
- Lumps in the neck
- Sudden weight loss
Smoking often causes the mutations that damage the cells in your larynx. It can also happen due to:
- Poor nutrition
- Heavy alcohol use
- Problems in your immune system
- Exposure to human papillomavirus
- Exposure to toxins in the workplace
- Some genetic diseases
The following factors increase your risk of laryngeal cancer.
- Chewing tobacco
- Lack of enough fruits and vegetables in your diet
- Consuming processed foods in large quantities
- Alcohol consumption
- A personal or family history of head and neck cancer
- Exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace
- Being male
- Being over 40 years of age
A cancer doctor in Kolkata will check your throat and neck properly. He/she may also find the following tests necessary for the diagnosis.
- Laryngoscopy: With the help of a flexible endoscope, a thin tube with a light, the doctor examines the larynx.
- Biopsy: The removal of a small piece of the larynx to examine it under a microscope takes place in this procedure.
- CT scan: X-rays and computers help to produce images of a cross-section of the body in computed tomography (CT) scan.
- MRI: There is a large magnet that works together with radio waves and a computer to produce clear images of the human body in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- PET scan: An injection with a little amount of radiotracer, a radioactive chemical, is given through a vein in your arm. The organs and tissues, which the doctor needs to study, absorb the tracer as it travels through the body. From the energy emitted by the tracer, a machine known as the PET scanner creates three-dimensional images.
There are different stages of laryngeal cancer. Stages 0, I and II form early laryngeal cancer and stages III and IV form the advanced laryngeal cancer.
The different options for treatment are:
- Surgery: A head and neck cancer surgeon in Kolkata removes the cancerous tumour and nearby tissues. There may be a neck dissection by the surgeon for removing any cancerous lymph nodes in the neck. The different types of surgery are endoscopic resection, partial laryngectomy and total laryngectomy. Some people may need temporary or permanent tracheostomy depending on the type of surgery. A permanent stoma may be necessary for some people to allow them to breathe. They also need an assistive device that enables them to speak.
- Radiation therapy: Killing cancer cells and shrinking the tumours are the functions of radiation therapy, that uses powerful rays.
- Chemotherapy: Using a combination of drugs to kill cancer cells and enhance the effects of radiation therapy is the feature of chemotherapy.