Our vocal cords, also known as “vocal folds”, help us speak. They’re made up of two muscle bands found in the larynx at the back of the throat. Tumors can grow on the vocal cords, often starting as a small group of abnormal cells and then growing larger over time.
What are Vocal Cord Tumors?
Vocal cord tumors are small masses that can be found within the vocal cords. These tumors may be benign or malignant. While cancer in vocal cord tumors is rare, there are over 10,000 cases diagnosed each year. Tumors often begin as pre-cancerous lesions, which appear as a white or red plaque on the vocal cords.
If caught early enough, removing these lesions will stop the cancerous tumors from growing. Some of the earliest signs of vocal cord tumors include vocal changes and hoarseness, which can lead to early intervention. Those with a history of smoking may be at higher risk for vocal cord cancer, but are not the only ones only susceptible.