The symptoms of LPR and laryngeal cancer overlap, but an ENT doctor compares these two conditions.
For this article I consulted with Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology.
LPR, as anyone who has found this article certainly knows, stands for laryngeal pharyngeal reflux, and the symptoms can range from annoying to very troubling.
These symptoms can also result from laryngeal cancer.
And by sheer coincidence, a person with LPR can develop laryngeal cancer, which is why becoming very familiar with your symptoms of the original laryngeal pharyngeal reflux is extremely important to keep on the lookout for changes in the symptoms or some kind of new evolving problem.
LPR. vs. Laryngeal Cancer
“Symptoms that are persisting and unresolving should always be evaluated by a physician,” begins Dr. Silvers. “If you have a long history of drinking, smoking and/or indigestion and heartburn, then you are at a higher risk for throat and esophageal cancers.
“If you start developing these symptoms later in life, even though LPR is more likely the cause, it is good not to sit on the symptoms but to have them properly evaluated.
“Common things are common. Hoarseness can be from vocal nodules, polyps, reflux and with the appropriate risk factors, laryngeal cancer.
“As we are all human we think of the worst possible diagnosis. Symptoms that are prolonged despite appropriate medical management should also be thoroughly evaluated by an otolaryngologist.
“We all hear the story of the person who had a chronic cough, was diagnosed with allergy, asthma, reflux and ultimately was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.
“This is extremely rare but is always in a physician’s differential diagnosis.
“It is important not to neglect prolonged symptoms as well as for the clinician to seek out consultants when symptoms persist.”
An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.