Larynx cancer - Prevention & prognosis

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How can larynx cancer be prevented?


As with lung cancer, smoking is the number one risk factor for larynx cancer. The longtime consumption of tobacco increases the risk for both cancer diseases. But it is never too late to give up! The tissue recovers very fast. Alcohol also increases the risk of larynx cancer, mostly in conjunction with nicotine.  The liver is also affected. 

Some chemicals can promote the formation of larynx cancer.  A well known example is asbestos, known from the old ceiling interior linings and heaters.   During renovation works one must be very careful. An especially dangerous substance is loosely bound sprayed asbestos, as used for insulation and as fire protection. Strict protection measures apply for the renovation and disposal of buildings, units or devices that contain asbestos. Therefore, please consult a specialist, especially for older houses. 


As with any other form of cancer, in case of larynx tumors, age and the general condition are important factors for the prognosis.  The younger the patient and the fewer the associated diseases, the more favorable the prognosis. The stage is also relevant for the success of the treatment. The earlier the disease is identified, the higher the chance of a complete recovery. And the more likely the larynx can be recovered completely.

The prognosis also depends on the following factors:

  • Location of the tumor
  • Type of tumor
  • Reaction to therapy

Since cancer of the vocal cords can be easily identified by hoarseness, the chances of recovery are good. Also because metastases occur much later. Five years after the diagnosis, about 60 percent of patients are still alive. Without therapy, larynx cancer can be deadly.

If you continue smoking after a successful therapy, the risk of relapse increases massively! The mucosa of the larynx are already damaged by the previous disease. So new cancer can develop quickly after contact with dangerous substances.