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What is cancer of the larynx?

Cancer of the larynx also may be called laryngeal cancer. It can develop in any part of the larynx. Most cancers of the larynx begin in the glottis. The inner walls of the larynx are lined with cells called squamous cells. Almost all laryngeal cancers begin in these cells. These cancers are called squamous cell carcinomas.

If cancer of the larynx spreads (metastasizes), the cancer cells often spread to nearby lymph nodes in the neck. The cancer cells can also spread to the back of the tongue, other parts of the throat and neck, the lungs, and other parts of the body. When this happens, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells as the primary tumor in the larynx. For example, if cancer of the larynx spreads to the lungs, the cancer cells in the lungs are actually laryngeal cancer cells. The disease is called metastatic cancer of the larynx, not lung cancer. It is treated as cancer of the larynx, not lung cancer. Doctors sometimes call the new tumor "distant" disease.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.