I am a smoker have been smoking cigarettes for a long while. I am a female only 26 years old and here lately over the years it seems like my voice has gotten dramatically deeper to the point when I talk people think I am a man, it is quite embarrassing. I also can taste blood in the back of my throat almost all the time and I cough and phlegm comes up discolored and with small amounts of blood or sometimes it is really lumpy and has a awful taste and smell but it is like stuck to the back of my throat, I really want to know what could be wrong or what I may need to do, could this be cancer, or what?
Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
A common reason for significantly lowered pitch in female smokers is "polypoid corditis" or "polypoid degeneration, which refers to severe swelling of the membranous portion of the vocal cords. This condition will improve with cessation of smoking, though may not resolve entirely without surgical intervention. The only way to know if this condition is contributing to your symptoms, or something more serious, is to be evaluated by an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician.
Best of luck to you