Epidemiological Study of Laryngeal Carcinoma in Western Nepal


Background: Laryngeal malignancy is a common malignancy of the head and neck region. Affected patientsusually present with features that are characteristic of certain subsites. The larynx is oncologically divided intothree: supraglottis, glottis and subglottis. Studies from Western countries have shown that the glottis is thecommonest subsite to harbour laryngeal malignancy. However, the supraglottis has been reported to be thecommonest subsite in developing countries, including examples in the Indian subcontinent. To our knowledge, nostudy has been carried out in western Nepal about the epidemiology of laryngeal cancer to date. The purpose ofthis study was to analyse the epidemiology of laryngeal cancer in relation to its risk factors, age distribution,andpreferred subsites and to see if there is any recent change in the subsite wise distribution of laryngeal malignancyin western Nepal. Materials and
Methods: Patients of all ages and both sexes with suspected laryngeal malignancywere enrolled in the initial study. Detailed history taking and clinical examination was performed to find out theinvolved subsite in relation to the clinical features. Direct laryngoscopy was performed to further confirm thesubsite and to take biopsy from the growth under general anesthesia. After confirmation of malignancy fromthe biopsy report, patients were finally included in the study. Data were analysed and observations were madeto find out the distribution of laryngeal malignancy in different subsites.
Results: The supraglottic larynx wasthe commonest subsite to harbor laryngeal malignancy. Smoking and alcohol were found to be the commonrisk factors. The mean age of the patients was in their sixties.
Conclusions: Laryngeal malignancy is commonin elderly individuals. Supraglottic laryngeal malignancy is the commonest laryngeal malignancy in peoplewho smoke and drink alcohol in Nepal. Avoidance of alcohol use and smoking will be a milestone to reduce theincidence of laryngeal cancers and associated mortality.