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Vocal Cord Leukoplakia


Leukoplakia refers to a white lesion or ulcer on the vocal cord.  Leukoplakia can be pre-cancerous or even cancerous.  Leukoplakia disrupts the vibration cycle of the vocal cords and thus leads to a hoarse voice.  It is caused by irritants to the vocal cords, primarily tobacco smoke, but can also occur from exposure to acid reflux from the stomach.


A biopsy is usually necessary to determine if the lesion is cancerous.  If the lesion is not cancerous, close follow-up examination  is helpful to monitor for any changes.

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