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Laryngeal Cancer

Treatment

Depending on the stage and spread of cancer, the treatment options for laryngeal cancer may include:

  • Surgery: Surgery is one of the primary treatment options, especially in early-stage laryngeal cancer. It is combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in patients with advanced laryngeal cancer. Several surgical techniques are available and are used based on the severity of laryngeal cancer:
  • Cordectomy: The procedure involves the removal of the partial or complete vocal cords. The technique treats small laryngeal tumors present on the glottis surface.
  • Endoscopic laser surgery: The technique is used to treat the early-stage laryngeal tumor. The endoscope is inserted into the oral cavity and guided near the larynx. Then, the laser is directed at the tumor to kill the cancer cells.
  • Laryngectomy: Laryngectomy involves the removal of the larynx. If some portion of the larynx is removed, it is a partial laryngectomy. Complete laryngectomy involves the removal of the complete larynx.
  • Thyroidectomy: The surgical intervention involves the removal of the thyroid gland (partial thyroidectomy or complete thyroidectomy).
  • Neck dissection: Neck dissection is the procedure for removing the lymph nodes if there is a suspicion that cancer has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes (neck lymph nodes).
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is also used to treat laryngeal cancer alone or in combination with chemotherapy and surgery. It is recommended in cases where the patients are unable to undergo surgery. It effectively treats laryngeal cancer that has spread to the nearby lymph nodes. Further, laryngeal cancer in patients with a high risk of recurrence is also treated through radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is used as induction therapy, before surgery or radiation therapy, for treating advanced laryngeal cancer. It also assists the patients in relieving the symptoms as a part of the palliative care strategy.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs boost the immune system and make the cancer cells more vulnerable to getting killed by immune system cells. The drugs perform their action by interfering with a critical process in the cancer cells, providing them the escape path from the attack of immune system cells.
  • Targeted therapy: When the healthy cells mutate and convert into malignant cells, certain chemicals, such as proteins and enzymes, are synthesized that allow the cancer cells to rapid growth, multiply, and spread to other body parts. Targeted therapy targets these chemicals and prevents or slows down the growth of cancer cells.

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