Throat Cancer Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of throat cancer vary according to the location of the tumor. General signs of throat cancer may include the following:

Sore throat

Pain or discomfort in your throat that doesn’t go away is one of the most common symptoms of throat cancer.

Voice changes

Cancer in your throat can affect your voice. Your voice might sound different. It may be quieter, husky, or sound as if you have a cold all the time. You might slur some of your words or have trouble pronouncing certain sounds.

Trouble swallowing

Throat cancer can cause pain or a burning sensation when chewing and swallowing food. You might feel like food is sticking in your throat.

A lump in your neck

You may have a lump in your neck caused by an enlarged lymph node. Swelling in one or more lymph nodes in the neck is a common symptom of throat cancer, as well as other head and neck cancers.

Lumps that come and go are not usually due to cancer. Cancer usually forms a lump that slowly gets bigger.

Weight loss

Weight loss is a common symptom of many different types of cancer. Throat cancer can make it painful to eat and difficult to swallow, which can cause weight loss.

Other Signs of Throat Cancer

  • trouble opening your mouth
  • trouble moving your tongue
  • white patches on your tongue or the lining of your mouth that do not go away
  • coughing up blood
  • nosebleeds
  • headaches