This growth was described as a "granuloma."
What exactly is a granuloma?
It is a benign mass commonly due to repetitive mild vocal trauma resulting in exuberant growth of a specific region of the voicebox lining.
To be more precise, rather than the vocal cord itself, granulomas are most commonly found on the vocal process which is the "hinge" that allows for vocal cord movement. It is located in the back area of the voicebox.
An imprecise analogy of what a granuloma is would be a keloid of the skin.
Symptoms include mild (if any) hoarseness, mild intermittent pain on the side of the voicebox where the granuloma is located with talking/singing, rarely coughing up blood, and if large, shortness of breath.
To summarize, the steps followed when a granuloma-like mass is discovered on exam is as follows:
1) Trial restricted voice use and reflux medications. Voice therapy also strongly recommended.
2) If no improvement after a period of time, surgical excision to ensure it truly is a granuloma and not cancer or some other pathology
3) Follow-up with steroid injections to the granuloma site. Watch video below.
4) Botox injection can be considered which chemically prevents complete vocal cord adduction preventing the repetitive trauma to the granuloma site.
Read a Rolling Stone report here.
Read more about voicebox granulomas.