Every part the human body including the larynx is prone to malignancies which account for many fatalities across the world. Cancer of the larynx or voice box might not be common but it still makes life miserable for patients.
Symptoms of voice box cancer
· Trouble swallowing
· Presence of a mass in the neck
· Unexplained weight loss
· Breathing problems
The biggest problem arising from cancer of the larynx is that it affects ones vocals eventually rendering them unable to speak.
Risk factors refer to anything that increases your chances of getting any disease. Some risk factors can be changed while others cannot.
· Smoking, alcohol and poor diet are the biggest risk factors for laryngeal cancer.
· Human Papilloma Virus type 16 is also said closely linked to this type of cancer.
· One is at high risk of voice box cancer if their work environment exposes them to wood dust, paint fumes and certain industrial chemicals, Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been directly linked to laryngeal cancer.
· Men are more susceptible to cancer of the larynx than women. This is probably because more men tend to consume more alcohol and tobacco compared to women.
· African Americans and Caucasians are more prone to this cancer than Asians but the reason for this is not clear.
Treating cancer of the larynx
If you think you might have larynx cancer it is important to go in for proper diagnosis and staging. The doctor will take you through various tests to determine how far the malignant cells have spread in order to create an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment options include:
The ideal treatment depends on the stage of cancer as well as your general state of health. While the doctor might recommend certain treatments the ultimate choice is up to you. Remember that all forms of treatment have advantages and downsides that you must consider before making a decision. Larynx cancer treatment often requires a team of doctors with various specialties. An otolaryngologist will be there to monitor your head and neck while the radiation oncologist is there to provide radiation therapy. Nurses, speech therapists, nutritionists and social workers will also be available to help with treatment.
Larynx cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence as with early detection and proper care you can live a full, happy life. Always keep an open mind and develop a positive attitude to experience true healing.