There is no such thing as routine laryngeal cancer. Every patient’s laryngeal cancer is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving each person’s specific cancer.

At the OSUCCC – James, our laryngeal cancer specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on lip and oral cavity cancer and who reach across medical disciplines including head and neck surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, speech and swallowing therapists, and more to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer in ways that provide the best cancer care as well as functional outcome.

And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.

Facts About Laryngeal Cancer

The larynx, or “voice box” organ, comprises regions including the supraglottis (above the vocal cords), glottis (vocal cords), and subglottis (below the vocal cords). This organ produces voice and also helps protect the air passages during swallowing. 

Use of tobacco and excessive use of alcohol are the greatest risk factors for developing laryngeal cancer as well as hypopharyngeal cancer (region of the throat next to the larynx). More than 12,000 new cases of laryngeal cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. 

Laryngeal Anatomy

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Types of Laryngeal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Most laryngeal cancers form from the cells that line the surface of the larynx known as squamous cells. Your doctor may further characterize squamous cell laryngeal cancer based on analysis of the cells and genetics of the cancer. 

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Other Types

Several rare types of laryngeal cancer also may be diagnosed, which usually arise from the glandular tissues, cartilages, or other tissues of the larynx. These include:

    • Chondrosarcoma (cancer of the cartilage)
    • Adenocarcinoma
    • Adenoid cystic carcinoma (form of salivary gland cancer)
    • Metastases from other cancers

Laryngeal Cancer Symptoms

Signs and symptoms that may be caused by laryngeal cancer include the following:

  • Persistent hoarseness or change in voice
  • A sore throat or cough that does not go away
  • Pain or difficulty with swallowing
  • Unexplained ear pain
  • A lump in the neck or throat
  • Difficulty breathing
(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Not everyone with laryngeal cancer has the same signs or symptoms, and having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have laryngeal cancer as many other more common conditions can cause similar symptoms. But if you have symptoms you should tell your doctor, especially if these symptoms have continued for longer than a few weeks.


If you have received a laryngeal cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a laryngeal cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 W. 10th Ave.

Columbus, Ohio 43210


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