If hoarseness is persisting for 2 weeks or more it should be evaluated. If hoarseness is associated with difficulty breathing it should be evaluated urgently. Likewise, hoarseness associated with throat pain might require more urgent medical attention. Most causes of hoarseness are benign, treatable conditions. However, it is possible for hoarseness to be caused by a cancerous tumor.
A complete evaluation of a hoarse voice requires visualization of the larynx (voice box) frequently accomplished with the assistance of flexible laryngoscopy, whereby a small flexible telescope is placed through the nose allowing visualization of the back of the throat and the voice box.