Two kinds of cancer can cause the Adam’s apple to appear asymmetrical or uneven.
If you’ve noticed this lately, you’ll want to be on the lookout for other symptoms that may develop that are possibly connected to this observation.
How does cancer cause an uneven or asymmetrical Adam’s apple?
“The thyroid rests over the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple),” says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology; one of her specialties is sinus surgery.
Dr. Silvers explains, “Tumors in the thyroid glad, benign or malignant, are one-sided and can give an obvious asymmetry.
“Tumors within the larynx [voice box] themselves, if large enough can affect the cartilage externally.”
So the Adam’s apple itself isn’t what’s asymmetrical or uneven.
Rather, a benign or malignant growth distorts the shape of the normally symmetrical cartilage.
Should you panic over the discovery of this appearance?
Well, the big question is this:
Do you have other concerning symptoms, or is this your only “symptom”?
Dr. Silvers says, “But due to airway compromise and severe voice loss, diagnosis would usually be made prior to obvious external changes in the thyroid cartilage.”
If you’ve noticed that your Adam’s apple is not symmetrical, but
1) You have no other throat related symptoms, and
2) You don’t notice a progression with the appearance, then rest easy—it’s probably something that’s always been there—something you’ve never really noticed before.
Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
• A new lump that you can feel on your neck
• Voice changes like hoarseness that won’t go away
• Trouble swallowing
• Throat or neck pain
• Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Symptoms of Laryngeal Cancer
• Cough that won’t go away
• Voice changes including hoarseness that persist
• Trouble swallowing
• Lump in throat that won’t go away
• Ear pain
• Sore throat
• Unexplained weight loss
However, anxiety can cause the following:
• Perceived difficulty with swallowing
• Sensation of a lump in the throat
• Cough (from stress-induced acid reflux that makes its way to the vocal cords, even if there’s no feeling of heartburn)
Do not obsess over studying in a mirror an apparent asymmetry with your Adam’s apple.
Have an ear, nose and throat doctor check things out if you develop additional symptoms.