Ear pain has many causes and unfortunately one of them is laryngeal cancer.
Ear pain is a very common symptom and can present itself in different ways.
How might laryngeal cancer cause ear pain?
“The larynx, both for motor and sensory function, is innervated by the 10th cranial nerve, a.k.a. the vagus nerve,” 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.
“There is a branch of the nerve called Arnold’s nerve which innervates (goes to) the ear,” continues Dr. Silvers.
“Diseases like laryngeal cancer, acid reflux and other inflammatory processes of the larynx, as a result, can cause ear pain. With cancer the pain is usually one-sided, as the tumor starts on one side.”
What does the ear pain of laryngeal cancer feel like?
“Eat pain from laryngeal cancer is fortunately not common,” says Dr. Silvers. “Patients describe it as a constant ache which can fluctuate in severity, which usually will not come and go, as tumors are progressive.”
Benign Conditions that Cause an Ear Pain Similar to Laryngeal Cancer’s
Dr. Silvers says, “TMJ, ear infections and Eustachian tube congestion can cause similar and often constant pain while their cause persists. But since TMJ and ear congestion fluctuates, the ear pain can too.”
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint of the jaw.
The odds of your ear pain being caused by laryngeal cancer are exceedingly low.
Here are the statistics on how many people a year, in various age brackets, are diagnosed with larynx cancer in the United States.