Laryngeal cancer in patients younger than 30 years: A review of 99 cases | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Laryngeal cancer in patients younger than 30 years: A review of 99 cases

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April 1, 2010
by Amy L. Rutt, DO, Mary J. Hawkshaw, BSN, RN, CORLN, and Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS


Laryngeal cancer in patients younger than 30 years is uncommon. We present data on this population obtained from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. We identified 99 patients in this age group from the SEER 17 registry, which includes data submitted from 1973 through 2003. This population was made up of 52 females and 47 males; most were white, and most were aged 25 to 29 years. Malignancies of the glottis were the most common cancers, followed by supraglottic lesions. The 5-year relative survival rate was lowest among those aged 15 to 19 years-60.1%; 5-year relative survival among those aged 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 years was 87.7 and 87.4%, respectively. The etiology of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in children and adolescents remains uncertain, but in the adult population, a history of smoking, drinking, and poor oral hygiene cannot be ignored. Carcinoma of the larynx in young people has been related to malignant degeneration of papillomas and to complications of radiotherapy for papillomas. Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus possibly accelerates the development of SCC in patients with significant risk factors, presumably by impairing normal immune surveillance mechanisms.

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