What causes vocal fold cancer?
Vocal fold cancer, also known as vocal fold carcinoma, is thought to be caused by chronic irritation of the laryngeal epithelium and mucosa by such agents as tobacco, smoke, and alcohol, but may rarely have other causes. Cancer may also occur in other areas of the larynx external to the true vocal folds.
What are the symptoms of vocal fold cancer?
The main symptom of vocal fold cancer is hoarseness. The severity of dysphonia (hoarseness) can vary depending on the location of the tumor on the vocal fold and the extent of the tumor. Rarely, sensations of laryngeal pain or referred pain to the ear may be present in later stages of the disease.
How is vocal fold cancer diagnosed?
Whenever a suspicious lesion is identified in the laryngeal area, a surgical biopsy will likely be conducted to excise tissue samples for histopathological analysis, and a definitive diagnosis.
How is vocal fold cancer treated?
If the presence of malignancy is confirmed, treatment options include radiation therapy or surgical excision, chemotherapy, or a combination approach. Laryngeal cancer in its early stages has one of the best rates of successful treatment of any type of cancer.