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October 1962

The Cancerogenic Effect of X-Ray on the Larynx

Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;76(4):372-376. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740050382015

In world medical literature the problem of the deleterious consequences of radiotherapy of specific (tuberculosis) and nonspecific inflammatory conditions and of benign tumors is being discussed with increasing frequency, and the cases of late carcinomatous degeneration which may occur after such treatment are more frequently described. Most observations in this field have been made in dermatology and gynecology. More careful attention to the harm to the larynx consequent on the improper application of x-rays seems justified.

In the serious problem of laryngeal papillomas as a precancerous condition, too little attention has been called to the sometimes fatal consequences of radiotherapy.4 Only in a few cases of laryngeal papillomas in children has an unquestionable connection between application of x-rays and later malignant degeneration been emphasized.2,5,7,8

My own observations have shown that the radiotherapy of laryngeal papillomas applied during the period when both clinically and histologically they are of a

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