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Treatment for Laryngeal Cancer

A variety of treatments are available for patients with laryngeal cancer, or cancer of the larynx. Some are standard; others are being tested in clinical trials.

Surgery for Cancer of the Larynx 

Surgery is a common treatment for all stages of laryngeal cancer. The following surgical procedures may be used:

  • Cordectomy to remove the vocal cords only
  • Supraglottic laryngectomy to remove the supraglottis only
  • Hemilaryngectomy to remove half the larynx and preserve the voice
  • Partial laryngectomy to remove part of the larynx and preserve the voice
  • Total laryngectomy to remove the entire larynx, followed by tracheostomy
  • Thyroidectomy to remove all or part of the thyroid gland
  • Laser surgery to make bloodless cuts in tissue or remove a surface lesion such as a tumor

About Cancer of the Larynx 

Located just below the pharynx (throat), the larynx contains the vocal cords, which vibrate and make sound when air is directed against them.

Most laryngeal cancers form in squamous cells, the thin, flat cells that line the inside of the larynx.