Like any other cancer, laryngeal cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that can invade adjacent tissues if left untreated. The most common cancer of the larynx and trachea is the squamous cell carcinoma, although other epithelial cancers or sarcomas can also occur. Laryngeal cancer begins at the surface of the larynx, and if left untreated, spreads into deeper tissues, and eventually to other parts of the body, such as the surrounding lymph nodes of the neck, and even the lungs.
It used to be people thought only older men who smoked got cancer of the voice box, but that myth isn’t true. Dr. Barbu has diagnosed and treated laryngeal cancer in non-smokers including singers, women, and even youngsters such as teenagers. If your voice has changed and you are worried about it, please come in for an evaluation.
Treatment for laryngeal cancer depends on the cancer’s size, location, and stage of the disease. Depending on these factors, treatments options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of the three. Early stage cancer can often be treated with surgery or radiation alone.
Dr. Barbu has years of experience treating early stage laryngeal cancer surgically with optimal voice outcomes, thereby allowing her patients to bypass radiation therapy as a traditional first line of treatment. Having this option means saving patients the six weeks of radiation therapy for later use, only if needed in the future. You and she will tailor a treatment plan that is safest and most effective for your tumor and subsequent care.
Regular checkups of the larynx are needed after treatment to ensure the cancer doesn’t recur. Patients are considered “cured” if there has been no recurrence five years after surgery.
If you’d like to read more about how endoscopic angiolytic KTP laser is used to treat early stage cancer of the larynx, see the following publications from Dr. Barbu’s former Harvard group practice in Boston: