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Laryngeal Cancer

diagnosis · treatment · research

What laryngeal cancer is

When malignant tumour cells affect the larynx, this is called laryngeal cancer.

The larynx is an organ located in the neck that is used to emit sounds (speaking, singing, shouting) thanks to the vibration of the vocal cords.

The appearance of malignant cells in the larynx, capable of forming a tumour that can invade and destroy different parts of the larynx, is known as laryngeal cancer.

Among the head and neck cancers, or ENT cancers, laryngeal cancer is the most frequent.

Causes of laryngeal cancer

The occurrence of laryngeal cancer is directly related to smoking, so the more one smokes and the longer one smokes, the higher the risk of laryngeal cancer.

If regular alcohol consumption or alcoholism is added to smoking, the risk of developing laryngeal, pharyngeal or oral cavity cancer (floor of the mouth, tongue, gums, tonsils, etc.) is 20 times higher than in non-smokers and non-drinkers.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Changes in the tone of voice (aphonia or hoarseness), the appearance of a lump in the neck or discomfort when swallowing are symptoms that alert us to the possibility of laryngeal disease. The diagnosis of laryngeal cancer requires an examination by an ENT specialist and analysis of a biopsy by the pathology specialist.

Early diagnosis of this disease is of great importance in order to achieve a cure and avoid mutilating surgeries such as a laryngectomy.

Treatment of laryngeal cancer at the IVO

The decision for appropriate treatment requires the involvement of several specialists in addition to ENT specialists, such as radiologists and medical and radiation oncologists. The treatment of laryngeal cancers requires that it be carried out by specialists (ENT specialists, radiation therapists and oncologists) who are specially trained in the treatment of this disease, given its complexity.

Head and Neck Tumour Committee

The Head and Neck Tumour Committee is made up of a multidisciplinary team of expert professionals.

ENT Service

The ENT Service of the IVO specialises in reconstructive surgery for head and neck tumours

Medical oncology service

The Service's team of professionals accompanies the oncology patient throughout the disease process.

Clinical Trials

The only way we currently have to advance and improve cancer treatment is through so-called clinical trials.

A clinical trial is a research study carried out on people with the aim of learning more about how the body reacts to certain treatments. These trials generally seek to find drugs that are more effective than the current best therapeutic option for patients, or that have similar efficacy but a better toxicity profile.

Bearing in mind that almost all currently available treatments are the result of clinical research, the importance of clinical trials is obvious.

The IVO has a clinical trials unit for all types of tumours and participates in phase 1-3 studies as well as other types of studies.

Living with laryngeal cancer

coping with the diagnosis and receiving treatment and psychological support

Whether you receive the news of an initial diagnosis of cancer or a relapse, coping with cancer can be emotionally overwhelming. Each person has their own way of coping with a laryngeal cancer diagnosis, but there are some recommendations that can help you through this process:

  • Maintain communication and the company of family and friends, the people closest to the patient, who can provide a support network throughout the process
  • Talk to other people who have survived cancer or who are in the same situation. There are many local and national associations and support groups. The Spanish Association Against Cancer (Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer) is perhaps the best-known one.
  • Inform yourself in order to make the best decisions about treatment and medical professionals.

Early diagnosis

Nuclear Medicine


Radiation Therapy