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Laryngeal cancer
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Laryngeal cancer

Contributors: Madeline Goosmann, Christine Osborne MD, Paul C. Bryson MD, MBA
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Laryngeal cancer is the 11th most common cancer, with an annual incidence of 3.7 per 100 000 people worldwide. The most common type is squamous cell carcinoma. Laryngeal cancer can affect the supraglottic, glottic, and subglottic areas of the larynx. It more commonly affects men, with a 3.8:1 ratio, and usually occurs in the fifth or sixth decade of life. Risk factors for laryngeal cancer include smoking, alcohol use, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and laryngopharyngeal reflux.

Signs and symptoms of laryngeal cancer include:
  • Hoarseness
  • Dysphagia
  • Dysphonia / aphonia
  • Dyspnea
  • Sore throat
  • Globus sensation
  • Cachexia
  • Halitosis
  • Neck mass
  • Blood-tinged sputum
  • Otalgia
  • Stridor
  • Middle ear effusion
Symptoms will slowly worsen as malignancy grows.

Laryngeal cancer can be staged using the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM (tumor, node, metastasis) system, based on the extent of the main tumor, the spread to nearby lymph nodes, and metastasis to distant sites. The staging system can be found at

Immunocompromised Patient Considerations:
Immunocompromised patients will generally have more aggressive malignancies even in the absence of classic risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use.


C32.9 – Malignant neoplasm of larynx, unspecified

363429002 – Malignant tumor of larynx

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Last Reviewed:09/05/2019
Last Updated:12/07/2021
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Laryngeal cancer
A medical illustration showing key findings of Laryngeal cancer : Hoarseness, Neck mass, Dysphagia, Dysphonia, Dyspnea, Hemoptysis, Pharyngitis, Smoker, Chronic cough
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.