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Treatment of laryngeal cancer

The goal of treatment is to establish locoregional control, prevent problems from local and regional tumor growth, as well as prevent recurrence.

Treatment is intended to maintain optimal functional conditions.

The available treatment modalities are mainly surgery and radiation therapy. Treatment often consists of a combination of these. Chemotherapy is used to some degree.

Treatment for laryngeal cancer is intended to preserve the voice as much as possible.

  • Small tumors on the vocal cord(s) are removed with the help of a C02 laser. This has little effect on voice quality. (10)
  • Larger tumors, both glottic and supraglottic are treated primarily with radiation therapy.
  • With residual tumor after radiation therapy and recurrence, a laryngectomy is performed. 
  • With respiration difficulty, debulking is attempted first, followed by a treacheotomy if necessary.
  • With very advanced tumors, it may be necessary to perform a primary laryngectomy as well as postoperative radiation therapy.

These tumors will always be treated with radiation therapy including the primary tumor and regional lymph nodes on the neck. 

Age (>70 years) is not a contraindication for treatment, but the patient must be in good physical and mental condition (11).

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