Tumors in the voice box may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Squamous cell cancer is the most commonly found type of cancer of the larynx, but there are multiple other cancers. Cancer can penetrate into neighboring tissues or send its cells (metastasis) to other areas of the body using the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. Cancer of the voice box is not only seen in smokers but can also be found in younger individuals. Glottic cancer (cancer of the vocal cords) is the most common subsite to be affected.
Signs and symptoms of laryngeal cancer will depend on their exact location, but anyone with hoarseness for more than 3 weeks needs to be evaluated. Other symptoms that may be a sign of voice box cancer include :
- A sore throat that does not go away after a few weeks
- Ear pain
- A lump in the neck, which is NOT painful
- Hoarseness lasting for more than 3 weeks
Dr. Weidenbecher is one of the few voice box specialist in the country with an exceptional experience in surgical treatment of early-stage and advanced-stage laryngeal cancer. His focus is on voice box preservation cancer surgery. He uses state-of-the-art endoscopy to help identify cancers at a very early stage.
Treatment depends on the exact type of tumor and the stage and may, depending on patient's preference, include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination therapy. Dr. Weidenbecher and the team at MetroHealth Medical Center will discuss all treatment options with patients. Preservation of the laryngeal function including the ability to speak and swallow is a very important consideration when designing an individualized treatment plan.
For early stage-cancers patients often have multiple treatment options to choose from. Many laryngeal cancers can be removed endoscopically through the mouth with short recovery periods so that patient can avoid 6 weeks of daily radiation. Dr. Weidenbecher uses state-of-the-art laser technology (KTP and CO2 lasers) to gently remove the tumor while limiting damage to functional areas of the voice box, which may be pertinent for voice or swallowing.
Open neck surgery for
Advanced-Stage Laryngeal Cancers
Even for more advanced laryngeal cancers, Dr. Weidenbecher will often be able to remove the tumor while preserving laryngeal function. These complex procedures require an incision on the outside. The recovery period is usually longer compared to endoscopic cancers resections. In some cases, adjuvant therapies may still be needed after surgery to kill all cancer cells.
Healthy & Happy Patients
Our Satisfied Patients
I have had a good experience with Dr. Weidenbecher since he previously did surgery on me. He is very knowledgeable and I would recommend him.