Of all cancers that affect the upper aerodigestive tract, laryngeal cancer is the most common. Head and neck tumors, in general, are closely correlated with smoking, developing cancerous cells six times more often in cigarette smokers compared to those who do not smoke. It also appears there is a connection between laryngeal cancer and the cumulative of cigarettes smoked over time; those classified as heavy smokers are twenty times more likely to die from laryngeal cancer than those who do not smoke. Additionally, continuing to smoke while suffering from neck cancer appears to increase the rate at which a second primary tumor develops. As such, there is an increasing amount of evidence that smoking as little as possible, ideally not at all, lowers the risk of avoiding this cancer. Of course, should laryngeal cancer develop, it must be treated effectively. Get to know some of the major treatment options now.
Radiation therapy relies on high-energy gamma rays or x-rays to target and kill cancer cells. This form of therapy may be done in several ways when treating laryngeal cancer. A procedure may be avoided if the cancer is small, for example, so the therapy may be done as the primary treatment method if the doctor feels this alone can kill cancer without sacrificing voice quality. Radiation is also done when the patient is too sick to undergo an invasive medical procedure, or as an additional line of defense after a procedure. It may also be used as supportive or palliative care to relieve the severity of symptoms if the cancer has spread to the bones. Radiation around the throat can have an impact on gums and teeth, which means it's a good idea to see a dentist before beginning treatment. This will allow you to evaluate the status of your current oral health, which lets the dentist discover any new problems that occur as a result of the therapy, such as damage to the teeth or the development of an infection.
Continue reading to learn more about how laryngeal cancer is treated.