Structural Changes in Vocal Fold : Carcinoma


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Cancer of the larynx (laryngeal carcinoma) is potentially the most devastating of all laryngeal pathologies due to the life threatening implications of the disease and the potentially devastating effect on vocal communication, if a total laryngectomy must be performed to remove the malignancy. The most common symptom of this pathology is persistent hoarseness. Vocal symptoms will vary from a very mild to severe dysphonia depending upon the location and the extent of the tumor. Rarely, sensations of laryngeal pain or referred pain to the ear may be present in later stages in the development of the disease. In advanced disease, the extent of the tumor may create airway compromise or swallowing problems, or both.

Laryngeal cancer in its early stages has one of the best rates of successful treatment of any type of cancer. Most laryngeal carcinomas are the squamous cell type and originate from the cover. If the lesion develops further, it will invade the deeper layers of the vocal fold. Laryngeal carcinoma is thought to be caused by chronic irritation of the laryngeal epithelium and mucosa by such agents as tobacco smoke and alcohol, but may rarely have other causes. Carcinoma can also occur in other sites of the larynx external to the true vocal folds.

Whenever a suspicious lesion is identified in the laryngeal area, a surgical biopsy is conducted to excise a tissue sample for histopathological analysis, and a definitive diagnosis. Once the presence of malignancy is confirmed, treatment options include radiation therapy or surgical excision, chemotherapy, or a combination approach.

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Meet the ProVoice Voice Care Team by accessing each of our bios and CV’s. We know that you have choices when it comes to health care and we take pride in providing each patient the best experience from your initial contact to discharge visit. With over 45 years of combined clinical voice experience Dr. LeBorgne, Dr. Gorman, and Erin Donahue have the knowledge, skills, and state-of-the-art equipment to meet all voice and swallowing needs. We look forward to addressing your voice concerns and getting you vocally healthy!

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