The larynx (larynx) is one of the organs in the neck region. It comes after the pharynx, that is, the pharynx. Then there is the trachea. The larynx, which is a very important part of the respiratory tract, also contains the vocal cords. The air passing through makes the vocal cords vibrate and the resulting sound becomes audible by echoing in the oral cavity and nose.
Laryngeal cancer is seen in 5 out of every 100 thousand people. Some cells in the larynx multiply uncontrollably and become tumors, thus laryngeal cancer occurs. The most important risk factor for throat cancer is smoking. Smokers are 20 times more likely to develop this cancer than non-smokers.
Throat Cancer Causes
The use of cigarettes and tobacco products is one of the main causes of this cancer. Drinking too much alcohol is another risk factor. If it is used together with cigarettes, the probability of developing cancer is much higher. Malnutrition also plays a role in the occurrence of this type of cancer.
This cancer is more common in those working in the woodworking, paint industry, petroleum products and similar fields. Reflux is also an important factor in the formation of laryngeal cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is also among the causes of laryngeal cancer.
Hoarseness and change in voice quality are the main symptoms of this disease. However, in order for these symptoms to be observed, the tumor must occur above the vocal cords or form in another region and progress to the vocal cords.
Therefore, if the hoarseness lasts for a long time, especially if it exceeds 2 weeks, it should not be neglected to consult an ENT specialist.
Other factors that can be counted among the symptoms of throat cancer are:
Pain in the ears and throat
A feeling of being stuck in the throat
In advanced cases;
Shortness of breath
Pain may be observed during swallowing.
Those who observe one or more of the symptoms should apply to an otolaryngologist without wasting time. Your doctor will listen to your medical history, perform a physical examination, and order some tests if they suspect laryngeal cancer. The first of these is laryngoscopy. This; It is the process of examining the larynx with a rigid or flexible tube with a camera at the end.
If an abnormal formation is detected, general or local anesthesia is applied and a biopsy is taken from the areas that may have tumor and the definitive diagnosis is made in this way. During the diagnosis, CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), positron emission tomography (PET), neck ultrasound and similar imaging methods are also used. These methods provide information about the prevalence of the disease.
Which treatment will be applied in laryngeal cancer depends on the location, size, stage of the tumor, whether there is distant spread, that is, whether there is distant metastasis or not, and the age and general health of the person. In general, one of the following treatment methods is preferred:
This method, which is frequently used in the treatment of laryngeal cancer, provides success in many laryngeal cancers. While a part of the larynx is taken from the patients who are diagnosed in the early period, the larynx is completely removed from the patients who apply in the late period. In some of these surgeries, a hole (tracheostomy) is made in the front of the neck, in the trachea, and the patient is allowed to breathe through this hole.
If only a part of the larynx is removed, this hole is closed after a few days so that the patient can breathe safely after the surgery. However, if the larynx is completely removed, this hole can be permanent. If the cancer cells spread to the lymph nodes in the neck or if there is a high risk of spreading, it may be necessary to clean the lymph nodes in the neck during the surgery.
The voice quality of patients who have a part of their larynx removed is extremely high. Although speech problems may occur after the larynx is completely removed, this can be reduced with voice prosthesis and voice training.
Cancer cells are killed with high-energy rays and tumors are reduced by this method. In laryngeal cancers, radiation rays are mostly given to the neck area by an external device. This method is applied by giving a certain dose of radiation every day.
Some drugs used during radiotherapy help radiation to affect cancer cells better. Radiotherapy, which is as successful as surgery, especially in early stage laryngeal cancers, is used for complementary treatment after surgical operation in some advanced stage cancers.
It is preferred in cases where the cancer is at an advanced stage and in patients whose cancer recurs before, after or after surgery. In some cases where surgery cannot be performed, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are applied as a combined treatment, thus creating a treatment model in the form of organ preservation protocol.
Our Clinical Information
He was born in 1981 in Zile district of Tokat. Starting primary school at Rize Atatürk Primary School, Dr. Deniz Yazıcı continued his education life in the Ergani district of Diyarbakır, since his father's place of duty changed since the 4th grade of primary school.