Laryngeal cancer

Laryngeal cancer (synonyms: Cancer of the larynx, Larynxtumor, laryngeal tumor ) is a cancer of the larynx. He is one of the most frequent malignant ( malignant ) tumors in the neck area.


Laryngeal cancer affects mostly men between the ages of 50 and 70. Men are 10 times more frequently affected than women. Statistically, the disease in the Federal Republic of Germany every year about 3,500 men and 500 women. The proportion of women smokers has now risen sharply. Overall, he is one, based on the mortality (death ) to the rarer cancers: 1.5 % of male cancer deaths and less than 1 % of female cancer deaths had throat cancer.

Forms and symptoms

For all laryngeal carcinomas are called squamous cell carcinomas. After localization, a distinction different forms:

As glottis (Latin origin. Glottis vocalis ) refers to the entire human vocal apparatus consisting of vocal cords and glottis. 2/3 are Glottiskarzinome, 1/3 are supraglottic carcinomas, rarely sub-and transglottische carcinomas.

Causes and Risk Factors

Throat cancer usually develops due to a pre-damage of the larynx, a so-called precancerous lesion. As precancerous lesions dysplasia, leukoplakia and the carcinoma in situ apply.

The most common cause is tobacco smoking and alcohol abuse ( alcohol abuse) is specified. Additional causes may include viruses such as asbestos and environmental toxins. Hereditary predisposition may favor the disease.


Directly through a larynx (laryngoscopy ), a tissue examination (biopsy ), otherwise by computer tomography and X-ray.


Often the larynx surgically completely or partially removed (medical resection or dissection) and then radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy. The removal of the entire larynx ( laryngectomy ) has significant consequences for the patient: In addition to the loss of voice occur due to the separation of air and Speiseweg rigidities of the nasal mucosa, so that it comes to odor problems. There are some vocal replacement procedures. Thus, by training using a speech therapist, a esophageal replacement language to be learned and there are electronic speech aids ( voice prosthesis ). If the tumor is still small, it can be made ​​to disappear by irradiation alone under certain circumstances ( usually combined with chemotherapy).


The Saarland Cancer Registry is for men a five-year survival rate of 65.4 % (ie, after five years, 34.6 % of patients died ). In women, the five-year survival rate is 75.8 %. The prognosis depends on the location and stage of laryngeal cancer.