Hoarseness means changes in quality or pitch of the voice, and/or it is difficult to produce sound when you try to speak. The voice may sound husky, scratchy, weak, very breathy. Most of the time, hoarseness is harmless and is caused by minor causes. Even if it is continued, it does not necessarily mean the presence of the deadly disease, for example, chronic laryngitis, benign nodules or tumor on the vocal cords. Nevertheless, a continued progressive hoarseness is often the typical, warning signs and early symptoms of throat cancer; Or, it is also one of symptoms of thyroid cancer in late stage.
Causes of hoarseness
Benign or harmless
- Voice misuse, excessive use (shouting or singing)
- Colds or upper respiratory infections (acute, chronic pharyngitis, laryngitis)
- Acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux), laryngopharyngeal reflux
- Allergies, breathing in irritating substances
- Chronic cough, smoking, drinking
- Neurological diseases or disorders
- Benign vocal cord lesions (vocal cord nodules)
Malignant or fatal
- Throat cancer (starting at early stage)
- Thyroid cancer (until late stage)
- Lung cancer (until late stage)
- esophageal cancer (until late stage)
Other lump in neck
- Enlarged thyroid, thyroid nodules, compressing the recurrent laryngeal nerve in the neck.
- Swollen lymph nodes in neck, compressing the recurrent laryngeal nerve.
- Other lumps in the neck
Thyroid cancer and hoarseness
With the development of thyroid cancer, the tumor continues to increase in size and spreads to adjacent tissues and organs, for example, the throat, vocal cord, and recurrent laryngeal nerve will be involved. In late stage, the thyroid cancer completely have the ability to invade the throat and its vocal cords, or recurrent laryngeal nerve. This harm is not only limited to compression, but also more aggressive damage: thyroid cancer penetrate, compress and ultimately destroy the surrounding normal tissues - throat and vocal cord, recurrent laryngeal nerve.
The symptoms of voice hoarse is not particularly important in thyroid cancer. The Hoarseness is more caused by other diseases and causes, and other thyroid cancer symptoms and signs are more significant than hoarseness. So, what are the significant symptoms or signs of thyroid cancer? That certainly is the enlarged thyroid, including the visible or palpable thyroid nodule.
If you have hoarseness...
if you have an ongoing hoarseness over two weeks, you should consider a number of factors: Do you have chronic pharyngitis or laryngitis? You have in the past been diagnosed with benign neoplasm in the pharynx or throat or vocal cords? Are you a smoker? Do you have any symptoms of cough and expectoration? Do you have a lump in the front of the neck below the throat? In addition to thyroid nodules, the majority of thyroid patients have no other symptoms. Until late stage, with the development and spread of the thyroid cancer, they have other symptoms, such as hoarseness, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, Horner sign, head and neck pain, swollen neck lymph nodes, and distant metastasis. If you doubt, you should consult your doctor.