Background: Laryngeal malignancy is a common malignancy of the head and neck region. Affected patients usually present with features that are characteristic of certain subsites. The larynx is oncologically divided into three: supraglottis, glottis and subglottis. Studies from Western countries have shown that the glottis is the commonest subsite to harbour laryngeal malignancy. However, the supraglottis has been reported to be the commonest subsite in developing countries, including examples in the Indian subcontinent. To our knowledge, no study has been carried out in western Nepal about the epidemiology of laryngeal cancer to date. The purpose of this study was to analyse the epidemiology of laryngeal cancer in relation to its risk factors, age distribution,and preferred subsites and to see if there is any recent change in the subsite wise distribution of laryngeal malignancy in western Nepal.
Materials and methods: Patients of all ages and both sexes with suspected laryngeal malignancy were enrolled in the initial study. Detailed history taking and clinical examination was performed to find out the involved subsite in relation to the clinical features. Direct laryngoscopy was performed to further confirm the subsite and to take biopsy from the growth under general anesthesia. After confirmation of malignancy from the biopsy report, patients were finally included in the study. Data were analysed and observations were made to find out the distribution of laryngeal malignancy in different subsites.
Results: The supraglottic larynx was the commonest subsite to harbor laryngeal malignancy. Smoking and alcohol were found to be the common risk factors. The mean age of the patients was in their sixties.
Conclusions: Laryngeal malignancy is common in elderly individuals. Supraglottic laryngeal malignancy is the commonest laryngeal malignancy in people who smoke and drink alcohol in Nepal. Avoidance of alcohol use and smoking will be a milestone to reduce the incidence of laryngeal cancers and associated mortality.