Laryngeal cancer is a type of cancer thataffects the larynx (voice box).

The larynx is part of the throat found at the entrance of the windpipe (trachea). It plays an importantrole in helping you breathe and speak.

In the UK, there are about 2,400 new cases of laryngeal cancer each year.

The condition is more common in people over the age of 60. It's about four times more common in men than women.

Symptoms of laryngeal cancer

The main symptoms of laryngeal cancer include:

  • a change in your voice, such as sounding hoarse
  • pain when swallowingor difficulty swallowing
  • a lump or swelling in your neck
  • along-lasting Cough
  • a persistent sore throat or earache
  • in severe cases, difficulty breathing

Some people may also experience bad breath , breathlessness , a high-pitched wheezing noisewhenbreathing, unexplained weight loss , or fatigue (extreme tiredness).

When to see your GP

You should visit your GP if you have hadany of the main symptoms listed above for more than three weeks.

These symptoms are often caused by less serious conditions, such as laryngitis , but it's a good idea to get them checked out.

If necessary, your GP can refer you to a hospital specialist for further tests to confirm or rule out cancer.

Instead, you will breathe through a permanent hole in your neck (stoma) and you will need additional treatment to help restore your voice.

This may include an implant in your throat, or an electrical deviceyou hold against your throat to produce sound.

Fortunately,most laryngeal cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, which means the outlook is generally better than some other types of cancer.

Overall,about 70 out of every 100 people will live for at least 5 years after diagnosis andabout60 out of every 100 people will live for at least 10 years.

If you smoke, stopping smoking after being diagnosed with laryngeal cancer may improve your outlook.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 30 Nov 2016