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Survival

Find out about survival for laryngeal cancer.

Survival depends on many different factors. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live. 

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk about this with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival by stage

There are no UK-wide statistics available for cancer of the larynx survival by stage. Survival statistics are available for each stage of laryngeal cancer in one area of England.

The figures we present use the number staging system. This staging system is slightly different to the T stages used by doctors. We provide a brief description of each stage to help you find the relevant information. But if you are uncertain, do ask your doctor or nurse to help you understand this information. 

Stage 1

Around 90 out of 100 adults (around 90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 1 laryngeal cancer is only in one part of the larynx and the vocal cords are still able to move. The cancer has not spread to nearby tissues, lymph nodes or other organs. 

Stage 2

Around 60 out of 100 adults (around 60%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 2 laryngeal cancer has spread to another part of the larynx from where it started. In some types of laryngeal cancer, it has grown into the vocal cords and these may not be able to move. The cancer has not spread to lymph nodes or other organs. 

Stage 3

Almost 60 out of 100 adults (almost 60%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 3 laryngeal cancer has grown throughout the larynx but has not spread to other parts of the body. OR at least one vocal cord is fixed and can’t move. OR the cancer may also have spread to a nearby lymph node, which is no larger than 3cm across.

Stage 4

More than 40 out of 100 adults (more than 40%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 4 cancer may have spread into tissue outside the larynx such as the thyroid or food pipe. It may have spread to lymph nodes which are further away and larger in size. And it may have spread to other parts of the body.

Survival for all stages

There are only statistics available for men. This is because so few women are diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. 

Generally for men with cancer of the larynx in England and Wales:

  • around 85 out of every 100 (around 85%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • around 65 out of every 100 (around 65%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis
  • around 55 out of every 100 (around 55%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more after they are diagnosed

What affects survival

Your outlook depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread.

The grade of the cancer cells can also affect your likely survival. Grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope. The location of the cancer in the larynx also affects survival.

Your general health and fitness affects survival. Also, if you carry on smoking after your cancer, this affects your likely survival. And there is a higher risk that you will get a second cancer.

About these statistics

The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.

Some people live much longer than 5 years.

More statistics

For more in-depth information about survival and cancer of the larynx, go to our Cancer Statistics section.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.