Management of Supraglottic Larynx Cancers

Early cancers of the supraglottic larynx (above the vocal cords) may be treated either with surgery or radiation therapy with a high likelihood of success.  Moderately advanced cancers are usually treated with radiation therapy, and very advanced cancers are generally treated with surgery followed by radiation therapy.  Unfortunately, surgery often involves removal of the larynx (voice box).  The volume of the tumor calculated on CT scan or MR images before treatment is related to the chance of successful treatment with radiation therapy, and thus, currently, radiographic volume is used to determine treatment at the University of Florida.  Patients who have higher volume lesions who would like to avoid laryngectomy are treated with radiation therapy and concomitant cisplatin chemotherapy.  CT scan may also be used to follow up patients after treatment to detect early recurrences and facilitate successful surgical salvage.


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