Not Recommended For Laryngeal Cancer Treatment
The successful laryngeal cancer treatment depends heavily on the stage of laryngeal cancer. Some of the patients find out that they have laryngeal cancer that is too advanced to perform an effective treatment for throat cancer. In these kinds of situations, palliative care is the only laryngeal cancer treatment available.
Laryngeal cancer is a cancer of the larynx and is classified as a type of throat cancer or wider as one of head and neck cancers. Laryngeal cancer is not a very common type of cancer, unlike lung cancer or breast cancer. Also, it is known that mostly male patients are suffering from laryngeal cancer, with around 75% of them having throat cancer.
Throat cancer treatment may, similarly to treatment for other cancers such as prostate cancer or liver cancer, take different forms depending mostly on laryngeal cancer staging. Laryngeal cancer treatment alternatives include throat cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy in addition to other, new methods.
Causes of Laryngeal Cancer
Some of the causes of laryngeal cancer are smoking and drinking alcohol. However, it would not be reasonable to think that all people who drink alcohol and smoke would suffer from laryngeal cancer. Rather, as causes of laryngeal cancer, we understand risk factors related to this throat cancer.
Laryngeal Cancer Symptoms
Unlike in other types of cancer, for laryngeal cancer, it is possible to identify the early signs. Laryngeal cancer symptoms include a cough which does not pass with time as well as ear pain. Also, symptoms of throat cancer involve a sore throat, change in the patient’s voice, and a lump felt in the neck or throat. .
Depending on the kind of cancer treatment appropriate to the patient’s laryngeal cancer staging, preparation for laryngeal cancer treatment changes. Another kind of preparation is needed for throat cancer surgery, another for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The surgeons would give detailed information to their patients about essential preparations that should be made before laryngeal cancer treatment.
How It Is Performed
Laryngeal cancer treatment can be presented in several forms, such as:
• Throat cancer surgery – throat cancer surgery for laryngeal cancer is called laryngectomy. Depending on the stage of laryngeal cancer, either partial or total laryngectomy can be performed. In this operation, vocal cords are removed either completely or partially, and the surrounding tissues are also removed. The surgeons attempt to save as many voice chords as they can to allow the patient to speak.
• Chemotherapy for laryngeal cancer – in chemotherapy treatment, strong drugs are given to the patient to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy treatment is a long procedure that is performed with short sessions repeated regularly.
• Radiation therapy – This treatment is performed to support cancer treatment or as a separate cancer treatment in the early stages of laryngeal cancer.
• Treatment with cetuximab – cetuximab is a medicine given to the patients in advanced stages of laryngeal cancer when chemotherapy is too risky for the patients.
The laryngeal cancer treatment recovery period might be a long and difficult process.
The patients might be unable to speak, or they may experience voice changes after throat cancer surgery, and it might take some time for them to get used to this new state. For some time after the treatment that is performed for throat cancer, the patients might have a hole made in their neck to breathe properly (tracheostomy). However, it is possible for even the patients who had throat cancer surgery like a total laryngectomy to get their voice back by a second surgery during which a voice chord implant is placed in their larynx.
If the treatment plan for larynx cancer involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the recovery period might be very long that may last for months or even years. Many side effects may never subside, and patients need to learn to live with them.
There are several complications and risks regarding throat cancer surgery that involve infections and bleeding. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy risks and complications include damage to vital organs such as lungs and kidneys and neurological complications.
Throat cancer surgery that is performed as a laryngeal cancer treatment has a significant side effect which is changes in the patient’s voice or even voice loss. However, thanks to the new treatment alternatives, there is an improvement in this condition and often the patients can use their voice to some extent.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy performed as a throat cancer treatment have some side effects, including problems with memory and concentration, feeling of weakness, nausea, hair loss and etc.
Success rates of laryngeal cancer treatment depend heavily on the stage of laryngeal cancer. In early throat cancer stages, the 5-years survival rate for patients with cancer of the larynx is as high as 85-90%. However, in the late throat cancer stages, this number shrinks to 25-50%.
What Is a Laryngeal Cancer?
Laryngeal cancer (laryngeal carcinoma) is the cancer of the larynx. Laryngeal cancer is a type ofthroat cancer and in general – a head and neck cancer.
What Are the Early Signs of Throat Cancer?
The early throat cancer symptoms involve cough and a sore throat that does not disappear over time or with traditional treatments, in addition to a lump in one’s neck or throat and ear pain.
What are the Laryngeal Cancer Treatment Options?
Laryngeal cancer treatment alternatives include throat cancer surgery, chemotherapy, cetuximab therapy and radiation therapy. However, the patient’s doctor would decide on the exact treatment for throat cancer.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in September, 2019.