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Larynx Cancer symptoms

Larynx cancer that forms in the supraglottis or the subglottis have little effect on the voice. For these cancers, common symptoms may include:

  • Chronic sore throat
  • Persistent coughing
  • Pain/difficulty when swallowing
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A lump or mass in the neck (which may indicate the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes)

How is Larynx Cancer treated?

Staging describes or classifies a cancer based on how much cancer there is in the body and where it is when first diagnosed. This is often called the extent of cancer. Information from tests is used to find out the size of the tumour, which parts of the organ have cancer, whether the cancer has spread from where it first started and where the cancer has spread. Your healthcare team uses the stage to plan treatment and estimate the outcome (your prognosis).

The most common staging system for laryngeal cancer is the TNM system. For laryngeal cancer there are 5 stages – stage 0 followed by stages 1 to 4. Often the stages 1 to 4 are written as the Roman numerals I, II, III and IV. Generally, the higher the stage number, the more the cancer has spread. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about staging.

  • Stage 0 laryngeal cancer is also called carcinoma in situ. The cancer is only in the inner lining of the larynx.
  • Early stage laryngeal cancer includes stages 1 and 2.
  • Locally advanced laryngeal cancer means stage 3.
  • Advanced stage laryngeal cancer means stage 4.

Laryngeal cancer staging is very complicated since it is based on where the cancer starts in the larynx. There are unique descriptions for stages 1, 2 and 3 for cancer that starts above the vocal cords, in the vocal cords and below the vocal cords in the larynx. The stage 4 description is the same regardless of where the cancer started. Find out more about staging cancer.


We started as general oncosurgeons performing all cancer surgical procedures.