Laryngeal Cancer

Laryngeal cancer is cancer that forms in the tissues of the larynx, or "voice box." The larynx, one of the organs that permits human speech, is located below the throat in the neck near the trachea, or windpipe. The larynx contains vocal cords, or folds, that vibrate and make sound when air is directed against them. The sound echoes through the throat, mouth and nose to form a person's voice. Most laryngeal cancers begin in a part of the larynx called the glottis, where the vocal cords are located. While laryngeal cancer is somewhat rare, smoking, tobacco use or excessive alcohol use increases the risk, and those older than 50 also are at increased risk.


Outstanding patient care is the primary focus of the UAB Medicine Head and Neck Oncology program. As a national leader in head and neck cancer treatment, we offer a number of surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for both malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous) tumors. We use a team approach that combines the expertise of head and neck surgeons; ear, nose, and throat physicians (otolaryngologists); medical and radiation oncologists; speech and swallowing specialists; dentists and prosthetic dentists; nutritionists; speech and language pathologists; and supportive care professionals.

A group of specialists called a tumor board meets weekly to discuss treatment options for patients with new and recurring cases of oral cancer. The board considers the latest clinical trials, immunotherapy (treatments that focus on the body’s immune system), and the most advanced surgical techniques in designing a treatment plan for each individual patient. And for the convenience of our patients, especially those who live far away, our Virtual Multidisciplinary Clinic enables patients to have much of their initial assessment done in one day, often avoiding multiple visits to different doctors.






UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of laryngeal cancer. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials