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Having sore throat and hoarseness, triggered by yelling. Tried antibiotic, and speech therapy but no avail. Suggest?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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69 yr. old male on no meds. sore throat and hoarseness for past 15 mos. triggered by brief episode of yelling. seen 2 ents who specialize in this area. have been scoped several times and tried antibiotics, heartburn meds, speech therapy to no avail. assured it is not cancer.
Posted Mon, 8 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 24 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

What kind of scopy have you had? Was is gastroscopy or bronchoscopy?

Sore throat, hoarseness are most likely caused by vocal cords issues. It can be a lump of vocal cords, chronic inflammation of vocal cords. Compression from the outside is also possible. Such compression can be caused by enlarged thyroid or thyroid tumor for example. Other lumps in cervical area compressing recurrent laryngeal nerve can also cause such symptom. It can be even an aneurysm of arteries in this area or enlarged left heart atrium. Cervix trauma can be the reason as well.

Yelling episode could cause chronic inflammation of the vocal cords as well. Acid reflux disease can cause such inflammation as well.

I suggest you to visit laryngologist and have vocal cords checked. Cervix MRI should be also done. Thyroid diagnostics like ultrasound and TSH levels should be performed. In case of chronic inflammation, steroids might be helpful (should be prescribed by your doctor).

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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Follow-up: Having sore throat and hoarseness, triggered by yelling. Tried antibiotic, and speech therapy but no avail. Suggest? 16 minutes later
had laryngoscopy and one vocal cord looked weak. was on steroids with no change. do you agree it is not likely cancer? would biopsy help? thank you
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 4 hours later
Yes, this really does not sound like a cancer. During this 15 months, the cancer would make your symptoms gradually worse and worse. Larynx cancer would cause visible lump and inability of breathing and eating during such a long time. So cancer is not the reason of your symptoms.

As one of your vocal cords is weak, nerve problem seems to be the reason. I suggest you to check your thyroid and carotid arteries to see if there is no compression. An ultrasound should be enough to diagnose this two areas.

Some nerves issues can disappear after even a year. Nerves have an ability to regenerate, but it takes long time. Sometimes the full function never comes back.

Hope this will help.
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