Oncology (General Cancer)/larynx issues


My husband had a cystic mass in his larynx last year. We saw an ENT surgeon who was extremely concerned that this could be a manifestation of laryngeal cancer. He biopsed the mass, basically excised it, under general laryngoscopy. It turned out to be a saccular cyst and all biopsies negative. The doctor said he saw no indications of cancer. Now, a year later, the cyst has returned and we are being sent to a specialist (laryngologist)to get his opinion. In your opinion,can these saccular cysts indicate some sort of occult malignant process? Thank you for your time and consideration.

Unfortunately, these cysts are associated with laryngeal cancer (although whether that has to do with the fact that both present with similar appearances, or that the former leads to the latter is not clear).  the fact that the first was not associated with cancer is a good sign.  They do tend to recur.  I agree that you should see someone who specializes in this area.  My suspicion is that further dissection will be required.  There are some techniques using laser surgery that might be more effective than what your ent did.  Finally, if there is anything your husband is doing (smoking, loud and prolonged singing or lecturing (as per teaching) or other ways of irritating the larynx, he should lay off for a while.  In direct answer to your question, it would be unusual for a cyst to be completely dissected and not show cancer, if cancer is present.  It would also be unusual for a cancer to recur a year later; I would expect it to recur much sooner if it was "occult".  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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