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Is Laryngitis a Symptom of Throat Cancer?

Throat cancer (laryngeal cancer) is basically the cancer of the larynx and pharynx resulted from the abnormal growth in the tissues of the throat, tonsils or voice box. It depends on the exact position and size of the tumors. Their symptoms are not specific and can be similar to other less serious conditions. The causes of throat cancer can be tobacco, heavy alcohol consumption or acute laryngitis. Laryngitis is the inflammation of larynx characterized by the swelling in the voice box and vocal cords. People above age 60 years have most cases of throat cancer.

Is Laryngitis a Symptom of Throat Cancer?

Is Laryngitis a Symptom of Throat Cancer?

Two bands of elastic tissue on the lining of the larynx constitute vocal cords. They are positioned by the side of the voice box (larynx) above the windpipes (trachea). The larynx and vocal cords are responsible for the generation of your voice. The vocal cords vibrate with every flow of air on it.

Throat cancer is a cancerous growth in throat region characterized by growth or spread of abnormal cells that develop into tumors or may spread to other regions of the body. Throat cancer involves larynx and nearby structures. Males are more affected than females by throat cancer, mostly after the age of 60 years.

The Causes Of Throat Cancer Are As Follows-

Aging- it happens mostly in old aged people.

Malnutrition- the diet that is deficient in vitamins and minerals can be a risk factor for laryngeal cancer.

Smoking – habitual cigarette smoking especially tobacco smoking damages the lining and the structures of the throat causing throat cancer.

Alcoholism- consumption of excess alcohol slowly damages the throat and chronic alcoholism causes throat cancer.

Environmental Pollutants- chronic exposure to environmental pollutants like chemicals, fumes or smoke can harm the cells of the throat and can be the most dangerous risk factor of the throat cancer.

Infection by HPV- infection by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can also lead to cancerous growth in the throat.

The symptoms of the throat cancer are non-specific and can be different in different cases. These Symptoms Are As Follows-

  • Hoarseness and changes in the voice
  • Persistent Soreness in the throat
  • A constant cough
  • Pain during swallowing
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • A sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Pain in the ear
  • Loss of weight
  • Difficulty in the breathing
  • Can spread to nearby and distant structures

Laryngitis is the inflammatory condition of the larynx triggered by overuse of the voice, certain irritants, and infection. In laryngitis, vocal cords get swollen and the sound waves get deviated over them, disturbing generation of voice. It causes hoarseness, tickling, and dryness in the throat. Larynx gets swollen due to various reasons such as overuse of larynx while speaking loud, yelling or singing especially in professional singers, speakers, etc., viral or bacterial infections or irritation in the throat triggered by smoking, excess alcohol or caffeine consumption, or environmental allergies.

The Symptoms Of Laryngitis Are As Follows-

  • Weakness in the voice
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Dryness in the throat
  • Dry cough
  • Tickling in the throat
  • Loss of voice
  • Low-grade fever
  • Inability to drink fluids

The symptoms of laryngitis are similar to throat cancer but laryngitis is not a symptom of throat cancer, it has different causes and can be treated easily.

Acute laryngitis is one of the main causes of throat cancer. But it is not the symptom of the throat cancer. The signs and symptoms of throat cancer are not specific and can be similar to other less severe conditions like laryngitis.


Throat cancer is the cancer of structures of throat such as larynx, epiglottis, and other nearby structures. Laryngitis is the inflammation of the larynx caused due to overuse, certain irritants, and infection. Acute laryngitis can be one of the main causes of the throat cancer.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Laryngitis. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/laryngitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20374262
  2. American Cancer Society. (2021). Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/laryngeal-and-hypopharyngeal-cancer.html

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 7, 2023

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