A  A  A   Print
Tests That Help Find Laryngeal Cancer

Tests That Help Find Laryngeal Cancer

There are 2 main tests your doctor may perform if he or she suspects you have laryngeal cancer:

  • Indirect laryngoscopy. Using a small mirror with a long handle, the doctor looks down your throat. This lets him or her check to see whether your vocal cords move normally. The exam is painless. Still, your doctor may spray a local anesthetic on your throat to keep you from gagging. You may have this test in the doctor’s office.

  • Direct laryngoscopy. This test is done by an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) or a head and neck surgeon. The doctor inserts a lighted tube called a laryngoscope through your nose or mouth. This lets the doctor see areas that cannot be seen with a simple mirror. You get a local anesthetic to ease discomfort or a mild sedative to help you relax. You may have this test in the doctor’s office, an outpatient clinic, or a hospital. Sometimes, the doctor decides to perform this test in the operating room, using a general anesthetic to put you to sleep during the test.

When you need a biopsy

If the doctor finds abnormal areas of tissue, you’ll need a biopsy. The biopsy shows if there is cancer in your larynx. During a biopsy, the doctor removes a piece of tissue while you are under local or general anesthetic. A pathologist then looks at the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer.

If cancer exists, the pathologist can usually tell what type it is. Almost all cancer cells of the larynx are squamous cell carcinomas. Squamous cell cancer begins in the cells that line the epiglottis, vocal cords, and other parts of the larynx.

 

 

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.