Potentially Malignant Precancerous Lesions


Chondromas of the larynx are exceedingly uncommon, well-circumscribed, small (less than 2 cm) cartilaginous tumours that most commonly originate from the posterior lamina of the cricoid (70-78%) and thyroid cartilage (15-20%) [26, 57, 83, 209, 324, 358], and exceptionally from the epiglottis [166, 209]. They are more common in men than in women, the peak incidence rate is in the fifth decade [57]. The development of chondro-mas in the older population is probably related to the alteration of the ossification process, which starts in the cricoid and thyroid cartilages in the third decade, and increases with advanced years [358]. Hoarseness, dyspnoea, dysphagia are the usual complaints of patients,

Potentially malignant (precancerous) lesions are histo-logically defined as alterations of the squamous epithelium from which invasive SCC develops more often than from other epithelial lesions [127, 177, 215]. Different grades of epithelial lesions that appear during the multistep process of carcinogenesis can easily be identified histologically. They are cumulatively called squamous intraepithelial lesions of the larynx (SILs) and represent a wide spectrum of histomorphologic changes, ranging from benign, reactive lesions, to potentially malignant (risky epithelium) and intraepithelial carcinoma. SILs are discussed in detail in Chap. 1.

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