Laryngeal carcinoma, epidemiological and clinical features as seen at Kenyatta National Hospital
Carcinoma of the larynx is a common head and neck malignancy. It has a widely varying prevalence in the different regions of the world. This study, a prospective crosssectional survey, was designed to determine the prevalence of laryngeal carcinoma at Kenyatta National Hospital, and the prevalence of certain risk factors such as smoking and alcohol intake in the same patients. 62 patients with laryngeal cancer and 176 patients with other head and neck malignancies were seen between September 2003 and December 2003. Elderly patients between the ages of 51-70 years who smoked and/or took alcohol were more frequently seen. The male to female ratio of affected patients was 11 :1. Most patients were from Central Province, followed by Eastern and Nairobi Provinces. All 62 patients with laryngeal cancer had squamous cell carcinoma. The type most encountered was the well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. The main presenting symptoms were dysphonia and difficulty in breathing. Most of the patients presented with advanced disease necessitating more radical methods of treatment. The treatment modalities given depended on the stage of disease at presentation. All but a few patients received apt treatment.