Most parts of the body have specific ways of telling us something is wrong. In the case of the larynx (LAIR-INKS), or voice box, the normal symptom is hoarseness. Normal production of sound is the result of the vocal cords vibrating. Interfering with this process produces hoarseness. One common cause is overuse of the voice. Speaking to a crowd or cheering at a big game can have this result. Resting your voice for a day or two generally brings complete recovery. Chronic hoarseness lasting two or more weeks is the sign of a more serious condition. Examination by an ear, nose and throat specialist is always called for in such circumstances. There can be 50 or more different causes for persistent hoarseness, most of them not being serious. Some may require minor surgery to remove a benign growth from your vocal cords. But for the few that signal the first stages of cancer, prompt treatment is required before the disease can spread and reach life-threatening proportions.