Laryngeal Cancer & Asbestos

Considered a relatively rare disease, laryngeal cancer is a disease that affects the larynx. More commonly, the larynx is referred to as the Adam’s apple. Some of the most common risk factors that have led to contracting this disease include:

  • Excessive alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to asbestos fibers

Based on the statistics, researchers have found that an estimated 12,410 new cases of this form of cancer occur each year and, unfortunately, the prognosis for this disease is poor. The five-year survival rate is 60 percent, which is similar to mesothelioma. 

Exposure in the Work Environment

People have been known to develop laryngeal cancer from exposure while in the work environment. As exposure increased, people had an increased risk of developing this illness. 

In the past, studies were limited on this subject. However, researchers confirmed a definite link with exposure and the development of this disease. Some studies, however, have shown mixed results with this. Some studies did not show a significant increase, but others showed an increased risk. 

How Do the Two Correlate?

First, it has been shown that once these fibers become airborne, they will accumulate in the lungs. The fibers first pass through the larynx before they can penetrate the laryngeal tissue and is often where they will collect. Many times, this will be classified based on the histological type, meaning the type of tissue where the malignant cells first come from. Laryngeal cancer most often will begin in the squamous cells near the upper airway. This cell is a flat cell and it will form a protective layer around the body. 

Why Does Smoking and Drinking Cause This Disease?

Studies have been conducted and have determined that either alone or in conjunction, the buildup of these fibers can be harmful. This could be because the fibers could become trapped within the larynx. In addition, the consumption of alcohol can cause irritation that will lead to the development of abnormal cell growth.

For truly effective treatment, it is essential to catch this disease early. Like many of the other cancers, chances of success dramatically if caught early. Most often, you will notice the effects of this disease straight away. For example, the vocal cords may be hoarse, or you may notice small masses of tumors forming on the vocal cords.