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Cancer Genetics

Genetics and Cancer of Vocal Cords

03/03/1999

Question:

Any info on genetics of cancer of vocal cords?

Answer:

The larynx (voice box) is composed of three subsites: the glottis (true paired vocal cords), the supraglottis (the area above the vocal cords) and the subglottis (the area that connects the larynx to the trachea or windpipe).

Cancer of the larynx (voicebox) is four times more common in men than women in the United States. In the U.S.,cancer of the true vocal is the most common laryngeal cancer, accounting for 65% of all laryngeal cancers. It usually develops in individuals who are 55 years or older. The two most common causes of cancer of the larynx include smoking of cigarettes, pipes or cigars and heavy use of alcohol. Laryngeal cancer is rarely seen in individuals who do not smoke or drink. Other possible causes of laryngeal cancer include voice abuse, chronic laryngitis, chronic gastric reflux, and exposure to wood dust, nitrogen mustard, asbestos, and ionizing radiation. There are no known genetic causes of laryngeal cancer.

Some useful websites regarding basic information about laryngeal cancer are cited if you wish to learn more.

Related Resources:

American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute

For more information:

Go to the Cancer Genetics health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jennifer S Graham, MS, CGC Jennifer S Graham, MS, CGC
Cancer Genetics Counselor
Human Cancer Genetics Program
The Ohio State University

Judith A Westman, MD Judith A Westman, MD
Associate Professor, Clinical Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Medical Biochemistry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University