Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cancer of the Larynx Anatomy

To better understand laryngeal cancer, it helps to understand the anatomy of the larynx.

The larynx is part of the upper airway. It begins at the lower pharynx, and extends down to the trachea.

Functions of the larynx include:

  • Maintain an open airway
  • Produce the voice
  • Protect the lungs

The larynx consists of:
  • Epiglottis
  • Vocal cords
  • Subglottic area
  • Thyroid cartilage

Larynx examples:
  • Rear view of larynx
  • Top view of epiglottis with x-ray of enlarged epiglottis
  • Normal pharynx in adult
  • Normal pharynx and epiglottis in child

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer of the Larynx References
  1. Back G, Sood S. The management of early laryngeal cancer: options for patients and therapists. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Apr;13(2):85-91. [15761281]
  2. Ferlito A, Silver CE, Howard DJ, Laccourreye O, Rinaldo A, Owen R. The role of partial laryngeal resection in current management of laryngeal cancer: a collective review. Acta Otolaryngol. 2000 Jun;120(4):456-65. [10958395]
  3. LoTempio MM, Wang KH, Sadeghi A, Delacure MD, Juillard GF, Wang MB. Comparison of quality of life outcomes in laryngeal cancer patients following chemoradiation vs. total laryngectomy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Jun;132(6):948-53. [15944570]
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