Throat Cancer Signs & Symptoms

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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