Diseases of the Vocal Cords
The vocal nodules (or singers’ nodes) are thickening of both vocal cords at the point of maximal vibration. They are a common problem of voice professionals and are treated with speech therapy and voice instructions. Surgical excision is very rarely necessary.
Proper use of voice and avoidance of smoking and alcohol abuse are the most important preventing measures for all laryngeal pathology. This applies for everybody, but especially for voice professionals. Singers and actors must realize that their larynx is their tool, and therefore they have to treat it with respect. In every abnormality of the voice or if hoarseness persists, they must consult with a specialist as soon as possible, to have endoscopic examination of the larynx, and, when indicated, stroboscopy and voice evaluation. The latter is done with the help of dedicated computer software and involves measurements of range, fluctuation of intensity and frequency, and calculation of other important parameters in the voice. Cancer of the larynx, when occupying the free edge of the vocal cord, impairs the voice early and therefore can be diagnosed when small and locally restricted. Micro-excision of small tumours of the vocal cord, either by the Laser or cold instruments, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy, when indicated, usually gives an excellent final result with a high cure rate.