Smoking Tobacco Death and Disease
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Voice Box (Larynx) Cancer, Vocal Cords, Surgery, Laryngectomy and Smoking
   

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Supragoltticc Larynx, Voice Box, Cancer Glottic True Vocal Cord Cancer Subglottic Cancer 

The above pictures show cancer of the voice box.  The picture on the left is a cancer of the epiglottis or top of the voice box.  The middle picture is a cancer of the true vocal cords and the picture on the far right is a cancer of the sub-glottis or below the vocal cords.
Search barnesandnoble.com for Quitting Smoking  for larynx Cancer       
Excellent Book: Living With The End In Mind     Search PubMed for Larynx Cancer


Sometimes the cancer requires removing the voice box in a procedure called a laryngectomy. In this procedure the food tube or esophagous is separated from the airway and the wind pipe is brought out through the neck. The patient on the right had a laryngectomy to treat a recurrent cancer after radiation therapy
Mouse over the picture to see his stoma!!!
 
 

Play to Hear Patient's Preop Voice:    


 
  • Slide 1. T1a SCCA T1 squamous cell carcinoma involving the anterior portion of the right true vocal cord. The patient had a 35 pack year history of smoking.
  • Slide 2.  T1a SCCA recurrent cancer involving the anterior true vocal cord. The patient was a 40 year old who smoked and had been treated 6 years previously with full course radiation therapy for a laryngeal cancer.
  • Slide 3. T1a SCCA T1 squamous cell carcinoma of the left true vocal cord. The patient was a 84 year old patient had a 75 pack year history of smoking and had quit 4 years ago.
  • Slide 4. T1a Verrucous CarcinomaA verrucous carcinoma on the right true vocal cord.
  • Slide 5. T1a SCCA T1a (involves only one vocal cord) squamous cell carcinoma on the right true vocal cord. This patient was a 56 yr old male with a 80 pack year history of smoking.
  • Slide 6. T1b SCCA squamous cell carcinoma involving the right true vocal cord and aneterior left true vocal cord. This 40 year old patient did not smoke.
  • Slide 7. T1a SCCA T1 squamous cell carcinoma on the mid right true vocal cord in a 73 yr old male with a 30 pack year history of smoking. The patient quit smoking 15 years ago.
  • Slide 8. T1b SCCA large T1b Cancer on both true vocal cords and anterior commissure in a 72 yr old male with a 150 pack year history of smoking. The patient quit smoking 8 years ago.
  • Slide 9.  T1b SCCThe function of a larynx with a T1b Cancer on both true vocal cords and anterior commissure in a 90 yr old male with a 37 pack year history of smoking. The patient quit smoking 40 years prior to diagnosis.
  • Slide 10.  Two T1a SCCTwo T1 squamous cell carcinoma on the left and right true vocal cords.
  • Slide 11.  T1b SCCA T1b Squamous Cell Carcinoma involving the right and left true vocal cords. This patient was a 56 yr old male with a 80 pack year history of smoking.
  • Slide 12. T2 SCCA T2 squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) on the left true vocal cord extending to the anterior commisure and onto the petiolus of the epiglottis. The patient was a 56 yr old male with a 80 pack year history of smoking.
  • Slide 13.  T2 SCCA larynx with a T2 squamous cell carcinoma involving the right true vocal cords and arytenoid. The cancer also extends onto the supraglottis. the patient was a 68 year old patient had a 30 pack year history of smoking and quit smoking 20 years ago.
  • Slide 14.  Large T2 SCCA large T2 squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) on the supraglottis that involves the mucosa of more than one sub-structure (false vocal cords, aryepiglottic fold, arytenoid, suprahyoid and infrahyoid epiglottis). This patient was 63 years old and had a 80 pack year history of smoking.
  • Slide 15.  T2 Supraglottic SCCA large T2 carcinoma of the supraglottis. It involved both the right true vocal cord and aryepiglottic fold.
  • Slide 16.  T3 SCCA large T3 Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the larynx in a 57 yr old male with a 52 pack year history of smoking.
  • Slide 17.  T3 SCCA large T3 squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx in a 50 yr old female with a 30 pack year history of smoking. The cancer involves the left true and false vocal cords and fixes the left true vocal cord.
  • Slide 18.  T4 SCCA T4 cancer on the supraglottis, glottis and pyriform sinus. This patient was 56 years old and had a 40 pack year history of smoking.

 A Tip from a Former Smoker: After you have a lung removed take short breaths. Smoking is by far the major risk factor for developing laryngeal cancer.   The use of alcohol and smoking further increases the risk of cancer of the larynx, oral cavity, and esophagus.
Video of a biopsy of a laryngeal          
cancer in a patient who smoked:  
 
 

 
 
Video of the function of a larynx after 
part of the vocal cord is removed in  
the treatment of larynx cancer.
 
 

 

Somerset is located in south central Kentucky, in the hills of Appalachia.  Since my practice started in Somerset, I have evaluated 68 patients with invasive cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) of the voice box (larynx).  65 patients smoked.  64 patients had a 20 pack year, or greater, history of smoking (smoking 1/2 pack per day for 40 years).  Two patients had severe GE Reflux and in one patient the cause of the cancer was unknown.

The average age was 64 years.  The average length of smoking was 61 pack years. (A pack year is one pack per day smoked in one year, or one-half pack per day smoked over two years.)  14 patients had quit smoking.  Four patients had quit more than 25 years prior to developing the cancer.  Exposure to the carcinogens in tobacco can cause permanent genetic damage in the cells and tumors can develop years later.  Fifteen of these patients were treated with a total laryngectomy, or had to have their voice box removed. 

T1 Cancer of the True Vocal CordThe picture on the left shows a T1 squamous cell carcinoma of the vocal cord in a patient who had a 35 pack year history of smoking.  The picture to the far right shows the immediate post-operative appearance of the vocal cords after surgical biopsy and removal of the leukoplakia.  This patient will be treated with full course radiation therapy and should have greater than a 90% chance of cure.    
   

Shown below are the pre and post biopsy views of a patient with two T1 squamous cell carcinomas of the true vocal cords.  The patient was treated with vocal cord stripping and  radiation therapy.
    

 
 

    

Picture of the larynx after resection of  T1 Cancers of the True Vocal Cords - Larynx Two T1 Cancers of the True Vocal Cords - Larynx
 

 
How Fast Can A Cancer Grow ?? 

If you are hoarse for more than four weeks, you definitely need to have your voice box (larynx) examined by a doctor.  Cancers usually grow slowly, but can sometimes grow fast.  Below are five pictures of a patient who is five years status post-radiation therapy for laryngeal
cancer.  The two pictures on the left show an absence of a mass in the voice box.  The three on the right were taken one month later and show that a large tumor has developed, possibly arising from his lower throat (hypopharynx). Click On Pictures To Enlarge
  
Picture of a Normal Larynx Before Developement of a CancerPicture of a Normal Larynx Before Developement of a Cancer    larynx with a Supraglottic and Glottic Carcinomalarynx with a Supraglottic and Glottic Carcinomalarynx with a Supraglottic and Glottic Carcinoma
      

Statistical Distribution of Smoking Pack Year History With the Development of Larynx Cancer

Distribution of the Number of Pack Years Smoked to the Development of Laryngeal Cancer in 65 Patients, All of Whom Were Smokers.

In the group of smoking patients only one had less than a 20 pack year history of smoking.  This patient had a 5 pack history.  One can achieve a 20 pack year history by smoking 20 packs per day for 40 years.  Thus, if someone smokes more a half a pack per day or more he will have an far greater chance of developing cancer. 

 

   

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