A cancer of the larynx can remain completely asymptomatic for a long period of time, although cancer located in the vocal cords can be detected early due to presence of a chronic hoarseness. When occur, laryngeal cancer Symptoms depend on the location of the tumor in the larynx, and their severity tend to vary from one patient to another
It is common for people to have hoarse voice at times; it does not mean it is laryngeal cancer. But if the hoarseness persists for more than two weeks, it wise to consult a doctor to perform appropriate diagnostic procedures.
Although they do not typically indicate the disease, here are some common symptoms indicating the presence of laryngeal cancer in an individual:
- Bad breath
- Persistent earache
- Persistent sore throat;
- Abnormal voice change (hoarseness)
- Lump or mass in the neck or throat
- Difficulty breathing, which indicates narrowing of the airway
- Persistent cough, which can be associated with coughing up blood.
In addition to these symptoms, without effective treatment, cancer of the larynx can cause the following complications:
Airway obstruction – the presence of a tumor or swelling in the airways may block the air passage, thus making breathing difficult;
Disfigurement – surgical removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue may sometimes cause some distortion of the throat and neck, or make neck movements more difficult. In case of tracheostomy (opening through the neck into the trachea), the groove is generally constant.
Difficulty Eating – after surgery, food of a certain consistency may be difficult to swallow. In addition, radiation therapy may render it difficult for certain patients to swallow and even chew their food.
Metastases (Spread of the cancer) – as the cancer progress, it can invade other parts of the body to form new tumors, making treatment and survival more challenging.
Loss of Voice – surgical removal of the entire larynx makes it almost impossible for the patient to retain a normal voice transmission. In this case, a rehabilitative method, such as esophageal speech (esophageal voice), electrolarynx (throat back), or tracheoesophagealvoice prosthesis, is necessary to be used.