Symptoms

Hoarseness is the most common presenting symptom for primary glottic carcinoma (the most common laryngeal cancer in North America, England, and Scandinavia). Dysphagia, irritation, and coughing are characteristic of supraglottic carcinomas (which make up more than 50% of the laryngeal cancers in Mediterranean countries and South America). Subglottic carcinomas are rare (<5%) and cause dyspnoea and stridor as they grow circumferentially in the subglottis. They usually present late. Most laryngeal carcinomas are diagnosed between 40-80 years of age.

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