What Is Laryngeal Cancer Or Larynx Cancer?


Larynx is an organ which is involved in many functions like swallowing, talking and breathing. Laryngeal cancer is also called cancer of the larynx, laryngeal carcinoma or Throat cancer. Larynx cancer can develop in any part of the larynx. Larynx cancer may originate from squamous cells which form laryngeal epithelium. Larynx cancer cure rate depends upon the location of the tumor and for this purpose larynx is divided into three anatomical regions i.e.


  • Glottis-the middle par of the larynx where vocal cords are located
  • Supraglottis –the tissue at the top of the larynx
  • Subglottis-the tissue at the bottom of the larynx through which larynx is connected to the windpipe

Mostly, the larynx cancer originates in the glottis.Supraglottic and subglottic tumors are less common.

Larynx cancer may spread in the following ways:

  • By metastasis to regional cervical lymph nodes
  • By direct extension to adjacent structures
  • Through bloodstream

Among these, distant metastates through bloodstream to the lung are most common. Larynx cancer is one of the most common head and neck cancers.

Risk Factors of Larynx Cancer

A risk factor denotes anything which increases the chance of developing cancer. Some risk factors are controlled like smoking while some are uncontrolled such as age and family history. Some factors directly cause cancer while some does not.

Among all factors, two factors greatly increase the chance of developing larynx cancer or hypopharyngeal cancer.

  • Alcohol use
  • Tobacco use

Other factors that increase the risk of developing larynx cancer include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Occupational inhalants
  • Poor nutrition
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Plummer-Vinson syndrome

Larynx cancer needs proper physical examination and diagnosis.


Filed Under: Cancer

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