This is a collaborative post.
What is the larynx
The larynx is the human voice box. The larynx is where the breathing and digestive systems separate. It’s main duties are: to protect the windpipe during swallowing, to help the air to reach the lungs when breathing and to produce sound when speaking. There are 3 main parts to the larynx: the supraglottis (this is the area above the vocal cords), the glottis (the area housing the vocal cords) and the subglottis (the part below the vocal cords)
Unfortunateley, cancer can develop in any or all of these parts of the larynx.
About laryngeal cancer
It’s a rare form of cancer. Men are tend to be more likely to develop it and more likely to develop in older age.
The most common symptoms are (and having them for more than 3 weeks):
- a change in one’s voice, like a hoarse sounding all of a sudden without any other known illness, and is persistent
- pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing
- often a lump or swelling in your neck
- persistent cough
- sore throat or earache
- problems with breathing or breathlessness
- sudden weight loss
- bad breath
The most common risk factors:
- family history of cancer
- unhealthy diet
- exposure to dangerous chemicals and substances, like asbestos and coal dust
Like with a lot of other cancer types, if Laryngeal cancer is caught in the early stage, it can often be successfully treated. The multidisciplinary team (surgeons, clinical oncologists, specialist head and neck cancer nurse, speech and language therapist, dietician, often dentist too) has to consider how the treatment plan will affect the one’s quality of life, because this type of cancer has an impact on talking, eating and breathing too. This could include or combine surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy immunotherapy and radiation therapy. At The Loc, they with some of the worlds’ leading experts who specialise in laryngeal cancer. All consultants have access to the latest medical advancements for combating this illness thanks to the Sarah Cannon Research Institute which provides medicines which aren’t readily available in the UK.
Reducing the risks
There are a few things you could do to reduce the risks. A healthier lifestyle in general, making small changes like exercise more, drink less alcohol, a healthier diet rich in vitamins and minerals like eating more plant based food can help to prevent cancer and other illnesses. So as quitting smoking which is a very big step forward and in the transition period vaping might be helpful.