Larynx Cancer Treatment

What is Larynx Cancer Treatment?

The treatment for larynx cancer largely depends on how far the cancer has spread. The main treatment for cancer of the voice box is radiotherapy or surgery. If the cancer at early stage it may be possible to remove the cancer using laser surgery or radiotherapy alone. If the cancer is larger, combination of surgery and radiotherapy is sometimes required.

    • Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy usually used for controlled doses of high-energy radiation to destroy cancerous cells. It can be used as a treatment on its own for early-stage larynx cancer, or it can be used before or after surgery to stop cancerous cells returning. To ensure the beams are directed at the exact area, a special plastic mask will be made to hold head in the right positions. For the first radiotherapy, a mould of face will be taken to make the mask. Radiotherapy have a side affect such as sore, red skin, mouth ulcers, sore mouth and throat, dry mouth, loss of taste, tiredness and feeling sick.

    • Surgery

There are three types of surgery that can be used to treat larynx cancer. They are endoscopic resection, partial laryngectomy and total laryngectomy.

Endoscopic resection

Endoscopic resection can be used in early stage larynx cancer. This treatment occurs by using a microscope to get a magnified view of the larynx. This allows them to remove the cancer either with a laser or small surgical instruments. Other than that and endoscopic resection is carried out under general anaesthetic. So the patient will be unconscious during the procedure and won’t feel any pain.

Partial Laryngectomy

Partial laryngectomy is the treatment of removing the affected part of larynx. Some of vocal cords will be left in place so the patient still is able to talk but the voice may be quite hoarse or weak.

Total laryngectomy

Total laryngectomy is usually used to treat advanced larynx cancer. The operation involves removing entire larynx. Nearby lymph nodes may also need to be removed it the cancer has spread to them. However vocal cords will be removed, the patient won’t be able to speak in the usual way after the operation. The surgeon will need to create a permanent hole in neck to help breath after the operation.

    • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses powerful cancer-killing medicines to damage the DNA of the cancerous cells and stop them reproducing. Usually chemotherapy is often used in combination with radiotherapy before or after surgery to treat advanced larynx cancer. The side affect are common such as feeling sick, being sick, hair loss, sore mouth, mouth ulcers and tiredness.

    • Cetuximab

Cetuximab is a type of medication called a biological therapy. It target special proteins called epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs), which are found on the surface of cancerous cells. EGFRs help the cancer to grow, so by disrupting them cetuximab can prevent the cancer from spreading. The side effects of this treatment are rashes, feeling sick, diarrhea and breathlessness.



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