Larynx cancer causes tonsillitis

Larynx cancer - laryngeal cancer

Competence Center for ENT Berlin informs: Larynx cancer

Definition of throat cancer (laryngeal cancer)

The specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) from the Berlin Medical Center distinguishes between three different types of larynx cancer. Depending on where the tumor is located. Is it above the vocal folds (supraglottic), below the vocal folds (subglottic) or at the level of the vocal folds (glottic). The most common tumors are found in the glottic area, i.e. in the voice-forming part of the larynx. Larynx cancer is caused by malignant changes in cells in the lining of the larynx. It is the most common and most malignant tumor in the head and neck area. Compared to other tumor diseases, however, it occurs relatively rarely. Around 3,000 new patients develop this disease in Germany every year. Far more men than women are among them. The ENT specialist in Berlin diagnoses larynx cancer seven times more often in men than in women. Those affected are usually between 40 and 60 years old.
In contrast to many other cancers, cancer of the larynx (laryngeal carcinoma) can be noticed early through symptoms. If the hoarseness lasts longer than two weeks, the larynx should be examined by the ENT doctor in Berlin. Difficulty swallowing, a lumpy feeling in the throat, coughing, chronic throat clearing and a feeling of dryness in the larynx can also be signs of cancer of the larynx. Sometimes there is also pain radiating to the corner of the jaw, palpable lumps on the neck, difficulty breathing, and weight loss. If the disease is discovered at an early stage, successful treatment is possible without having to remove the larynx. The timely detection of cancer of the throat (laryngeal cancer) through a medical examination at the ENT doctor in Berlin is therefore crucial.

Synonyms and related terms

Carcinoma of the larynx, squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx
English: larynx cancer

Overview of throat cancer (laryngeal cancer)

The larynx is located at the transition from the throat to the esophagus and trachea. Through him we can speak and breathe. In addition, when swallowing, the epiglottis lowers and the vocal folds close. This prevents food from entering the windpipe. The ENT doctor Berlin divides the larynx into three regions. The supraglottis is located above the vocal folds, the glottis at the level of the vocal folds, and the subglottis below both. About 60 percent of larynx cancers occur in the area of ​​the glottis.
The diagnosis of larynx cancer by the ENT doctor Berlin is a shock for many patients. They fear losing their larynx and voice and being aesthetically disfigured. In the meantime, the removal of the entire larynx is rarely necessary in the treatment of larynx cancer. With the latest laser technology, the ENT doctor in Berlin cuts out the diseased tissue precisely. The functions of breathing, speaking and swallowing are largely preserved.

Causes of cancer of the larynx (laryngeal cancer)

Smoking is the leading cause of cancer of the larynx (larynx). Anyone who smokes an average of 20 cigarettes a day for 20 years has a greatly increased risk of cancer. It can only be reduced if smoking is stopped immediately. Another risk factor is excessive drinking of alcohol. Those who drink around a bottle of wine or a liter and a half of beer a day are at high risk of developing cancer of the larynx (larynx cancer). Both together, i.e. smoking and drinking, significantly increases the risk again. In rare cases, occupational exposure to asbestos, cement or hardwood dust can also trigger the disease. Chronic inflammation of the larynx mucosa or virus-related wart formation in the larynx can also be causes of larynx cancer.

What you can do yourself if you have cancer of the throat (laryngeal cancer)

In order to support the treatment (therapy) of your ENT doctor Berlin from the Berlin Medical Center, it is advisable to stop smoking immediately and to refrain from consuming alcohol. This is the only way the therapy can be successful. A healthy diet also supports the treatment.

Help from the specialist

Depending on the specificity of the symptoms, further detailed diagnostics can be carried out by various specialists based on a discussion with your doctor. These include:

What to expect from your ENT doctor

Before your ENT specialist begins an examination, there will be an introductory discussion (anamnesis) about your current symptoms. As part of this, he will also ask you about previous complaints and any existing illnesses.

You can expect the following questions:

  • How long have the symptoms existed?
  • Can you carry out a precise characterization and, if necessary, localization?
  • Have there been any changes in the course of the symptoms?
  • Do you suffer from additional symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness?
  • Have you ever had a sudden hearing loss and did this illness occur in your family?
  • Do you currently have previous illnesses or hereditary diseases and are these treated?
  • Are you currently taking any medication?
  • Are you aware of any allergies?
  • Do you suffer from stressful situations in everyday life?

What medications do you take regularly?

Your ENT specialist from the Berlin Medical Center needs an overview of the medicines that you take regularly. Before you go to your doctor, give your ENT specialist in Berlin an overview of the medication you are taking in a table. You can find a template for the overview here.

Examinations (diagnostics) by the ENT doctor Berlin

Based on the symptom characteristics recorded in the previous anamnesis and the current state of health, the ENT specialist from the Berlin Medical Center can now apply the following diagnostics:

  • Palpation of the neck for lymph node enlargement
  • Mirror optics (rod endoscope)
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Tissue sample (biopsy)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Ultrasound scan of the throat and liver
  • X-ray of the lungs

In the case of cancer of the larynx (laryngeal cancer), there may also be secondary tumors in the lungs or esophagus. This will be clarified by further reflections and x-ray examinations.

Treatments (therapy)

The Berlin ENT doctor from the Berlin Medical Center will inform you about the exact course of treatment (therapy) for cancer of the larynx (larynx cancer). The size of the tumor and any metastasis that may already have occurred decide which treatment option is available for the individual patient. This includes:

  • Operational measures
  • radiotherapy
  • chemotherapy
  • Laser methods
  • Partial removal of the larynx
  • Removal of the entire larynx (laryngectomy)

If not all cancer cells can be surgically removed by the ENT doctor in Berlin, chemotherapy is usually prescribed. The drugs used (cytostatics) prevent the cancer cells from growing. Since the drugs are distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream, they also attack healthy cells. That is why chemotherapy is associated with massive side effects. Radiation treatment of larynx tumors also plays an important role. If the entire larynx has to be removed by the ENT doctor Berlin, there are then ways to restore the ability to speak. Those affected need a replacement for the missing voice-training organ. One possibility is to use the gullet (esophagus) for voice training. However, this requires a lot of patience. Electronic speaking aids are another alternative.

Prevention (prophylaxis, prevention)

The most important preventive measure (prevention) from the point of view of the ENT doctor in Berlin is to refrain from smoking. It's never too late to stop. Refraining from alcohol or consuming less alcohol also helps reduce the risk of larynx cancer.


If the tumor is detected in time by the Berlin ENT doctor from the Berlin Medical Center, the chances of recovery are very good. In the case of carcinoma of the larynx of the vocal cords in particular, they are over 90 percent if the disease is diagnosed at an early stage. Lifelong follow-up care at the ENT doctor in Berlin is, however, necessary. Because larynx cancer can recur (recurrent). The probability is between 10 and 20 percent. The disease occurs again especially in the first two years after the primary procedure.