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September 19, 1977

Asbestos Exposure and Laryngeal Carcinoma

JAMA. 1977;238(12):1280. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280130062021

THE association of asbestos exposure with and an increased incidence of malignant neoplasms has been reported.1 Two articles have recently suggested an association between exposure to asbestos and an increased incidence of laryngeal carcinoma.2,3 The three patients of Libshitz et al2 all had a history of smoking and were treated with radiotherapy or total laryngectomy with apparently good initial results. This is a report of a nonsmoker who worked for 30 years in an asbestos processing plant and who had epidermoid carcinoma involving the left vocal cord.

Report of a Case  A 63-year-old man complained of persistent hoarseness for several months. A biopsy specimen at another hospital prior to referral showed epidermoid carcinoma of the left vocal cord. He had worked for 30 years in a factory concerned with production of asbestos products. A brother had succumbed to pulmonary asbestosis with respiratory insufficiency. A preoperative chest x-ray