If you have laryngeal cancer (cancer of the voice box), you may be concerned about maintaining your ability to speak after treatment and about the effects of therapy on your appearance. At NewYork-Presbyterian, we understand your concerns and customize a plan of care aimed at eliminating your cancer while preserving your function, appearance, and quality of life.
Our Laryngeal Cancer Specialists Work as a Team
Your healthcare team includes head and neck cancer surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists who collaborate to discuss your care and tailor a plan of treatment that meets your needs. Speech and swallowing therapists, nutritionists, and dental oncologists are also available to support your health during treatment and to help you regain function afterward.
Larynx Preservation Surgery
If surgery is part of your treatment, NewYork-Presbyterian's surgeons aim to remove your tumor while leaving as much of your larynx and ability to speak as possible. Your surgery depends on the location and extent of growth of your cancer; your surgeon will tell you which is best for you. You may have:
- Cordectomy. Surgery to remove the vocal cords only.
- Supraglottic laryngectomy. Removal of the supraglottis only (the area above the vocal cords).
- Hemilaryngectomy. Surgery to remove half of the larynx, saving your voice.
- Partial laryngectomy. Removal of part of the larynx, which helps maintain your ability to talk.
- Total laryngectomy. Surgery to remove the whole larynx. During this operation, a hole (tracheostomy) is made in the front of your neck to allow you to breathe.
- Thyroidectomy. The removal of all or part of the thyroid gland, which is necessary for some people.
- Transoral Laser Microsurgery. A surgical procedure that uses a laser beam as a knife to remove a tumor on the surface of the larynx. This technique is especially focused on preserving the larynx.
Combination Therapy for Laryngeal Cancer
Depending on the stage of your cancer, your doctors may recommend you have radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy. Some patients receive treatment before surgery, to shrink the tumor and enhance the chance of preserving the larynx. We also give these treatments after surgery to kill any cancer cells remaining in the body.
- Customized radiation therapy. You can receive finely targeted radiation therapy in our state-of-the-art radiation treatment centers. Novel approaches enable treatment to be targeted to your tumor, sparing as much nearby healthy tissue as possible and reducing your risk of side effects.
- Support during chemotherapy. We administer chemotherapy in our modern infusion suites. Our experienced oncology nurses monitor your response to therapy during the infusion to ensure you are comfortable and support you during your treatment.
- Harnessing your immune system. Some people with advanced laryngeal cancer may benefit from immunotherapy, which boosts the power of the immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. We give the latest immunotherapies in our infusion suites.
Supporting Your Recovery from Laryngeal Cancer
Our speech and swallowing therapists work with you during and after your treatment to help you maintain these functions. If your treatment causes you to lose the ability to speak, our therapists will help you adjust to your new way of communicating. Nutritionists are also part of your team and can assist you in making dietary choices that support good health.
Clinical Trials for Laryngeal Cancer
NewYork-Presbyterian participates in clinical studies evaluating innovative treatments for laryngeal cancer. Your doctor will let you know if you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial.