LARYNX (VOICE BOX)
There is great variance in the age and sex incidence of laryngeal (larynx/voice box) cancer in different parts of the world which suggest that environmental factors have a great role in its pathogenesis.
Smoking and alcohol remain as potent risk factors, increasing the risk by 15.5 fold. Exposure to wood dust, asbestos, nickel, paint, leather, coal and tar products are other etiological factors.
Diet also seems to have a role in it’s causation. An inverse relationship between beta carotene and the incidence of laryngeal cancer has also been seen. Hence eating fruits and vegetables in adequate proportion helps reduce the incidence of laryngeal (larynx/voice box) cancer.
Since a major proportion of these cancers affect the vocal cord, prolonged change in voice quality is a major manifestation. The other symptoms are difficulty swallowing, respiratory discomfort and constant irritative sensation in the throat to name a few.
Early laryngeal (larynx/voice box) cancers are treated with Radiotherapy or Surgery, offering similar oncological and functional results. Advanced diseases are treated with Total Laryngectomy with entails loss of voice. But voice restoration can be adequately performed with the use of voice prosthesis. In appropriately selected cases of advanced laryngeal cancers one can use the organ preservation protocol of chemo-radiotherapy.