The most common form of laryngeal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma (95%); rare forms include adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, and others. Such cancer may be intrinsic or extrinsic.
An intrinsic tumor is on the true vocal cord and tends not to spread because underlying connective tissues lack lymph nodes. An extrinsic tumor is on some other part of the larynx and tends to spread early. Laryngeal cancer is nine times more common in males than in females; most victims are between ages 50 and 65.
With laryngeal cancer, major predisposing factors include smoking and alcoholism; minor factors include chronic inhalation of noxious fumes and familial tendency.
Laryngeal cancer is classified according to its location:
supraglottis (false vocal cords)
glottis (true vocal cords)
subglottis (downward extension from the vocal cords [rare]).
Teaching Checklist: Managing labyrinthitis
Tell the patient to avoid sudden position changes.
Help the patient assess how much his disability will affect his daily life.
Work with the patient to identify hazards in the home (such as throw rugs and dark stairways).
Discuss the patient’s anxieties and concerns about vertigo attacks and decreased hearing.
Stress the importance of maintaining or resuming normal diversions or social activities when balance disturbance is absent.
Signs and symptoms
With intrinsic laryngeal cancer, the dominant and earliest indication is hoarseness that persists longer than 3 weeks; with extrinsic cancer, it’s a lump in the throat or pain or burning in the throat when drinking citrus juice or hot liquid. Later signs and symptoms of metastasis include dysphagia, dyspnea, cough, enlarged cervical lymph nodes, and pain radiating to the ear.