Before treatment for cancer of the larynx (voicebox)
Your specialist doctor or nurse will usually give you advice on preparing for treatment.
If you are a smoker, stopping smoking will increase the chances of your treatment being effective. Continuing to smoke increases treatment side effects and the risk of the cancer coming back. Smoking also increases the risk of other cancers and conditions such as heart disease.
Smoking can be difficult to give up, especially at times of stress, but there are organisations and self-help groups you may find useful. Your GP can also give advice and prescribe nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches, gums and inhalers.
Avoiding alcohol, particularly spirits, will also help make your treatment more effective and reduce some side effects. If you’d like support to help reduce your alcohol intake, your specialist nurse or doctor can help.
Your doctor or nurse will advise you to visit a dentist or oral surgeon for a check-up and to have any necessary treatment. Making sure your teeth or dentures are in good condition reduces the risk of possible problems with your mouth during treatment.
We have more information about looking after your mouth and teeth during and after radiotherapy, and about mouth care during and after chemotherapy.