Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

" My voice is hoarse and my lymph nodes are swollen. Should I be worried about cancer?"

ZocdocAnswers My voice is hoarse and my lymph nodes are swollen. Should I be worried about cancer?


My voice became hoarse a month ago, I was told I had viral laryngitis. My voice is still hoarse and my lymph nodes are swollen and the left is very tender


I am sorry to hear that you have a hoarse voice and that your lymph nodes are swollen in your neck 1 months after developing laryngitis, and that you are worried that you might have a cancer. There are a number of non-cancer reasons why your voice could still be hoarse, with swollen lymph nodes, but if you want to have a definitive answer you are going to need to be evaluated by an ENT (Ear Nose Throat physician) or otolaryngologist. They will be able to ask you more questions (i.e. take a proper medical history), and examine you which I am unable to do. Laryngitis, or hoarseness more generally speaking has many different etiologies, one of them would be cancer. However there are many other more common etiologies. In fact most of the time laryngitis is the result of inflammation of the vocal folds which impairs the vibration from a viral infection. Typically the result of the progression of a viral upper respiratory infection. As you are probably aware, lymph nodes contain immune cells, and so when you are infected with a pathogen it is normal to have lymph node swelling in response to the infection. This can take a long time (sometimes a couple months) to go down. The ENT will be able to examine you and tell you if in fact that is what is going on. I wish you all the best.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.