Throat cancer causes a series of signs and symptoms. The symptoms depend on the exact location of the tumor. Symptoms and signs are not specific and can overlap with one another. In some situations, the symptoms can be extremely serious. On the other hand, some people see very mild signs of throat cancer. People who use tobacco are likely to be affected by throat cancer. Of course, alcohol and drugs can alleviate the risks of throat cancer. With this being said, here are common symptoms of throat cancer.
Sign #1 – Lump In Neck
A lot of people with throat cancer experience the presence of a lump in their neck. This is a persistent lump in the neck. Before you conclude the lump as cancer, it must be evaluated by an oncologist. Strep throat is witnessed by some people. These are transient neck lumps accompanied by upper respiratory infections. Usually neck lumps are caused due to enlarged lymph glands. Infections can enlarge lymph glands frequently. The lymph gland returns back to its original size, when the infection heals. However, if the lump remains, even after the infection heals, it could be something else.
Sign #2 – Hoarseness
Hoarseness is another common sign of throat cancer. In fact, this is an early sign of the tumor. A hoarse voice is never restricted to a single type of illness. Some people experience hoarseness after viral infections too. This is why you should wait and check if the hoarse voice goes away. If hoarseness persists for three or more weeks, you should get it examined. It could mean something big and risky like throat cancer.
Sign #3 – Difficulty in Swallowing
A lot of people experience sore throat and difficulty in swallowing. Once again, this is a sign caused by numerous factors. Trouble in swallowing can be caused due to cough and sore throat too. However, if you witness difficulty in swallowing due to a sore throat, it will heal in few weeks. If the symptom stays for several months, you should visit a physician. A common sign of throat cancer is difficulty in swallowing and sore throat. And, this is a symptom that can become worse with time.
Sign #4 – Patches
Some people see white and red patches on their tongue, especially near the gums and teeth. It is quite interesting to note that, patches are seen inside the cheeks too. This is a discreet sign of mouth or oral cavity cancer. Sometimes, you will experience unusual pain and swelling around the jaw.
Sign #5 – Issues in Breathing
Cancer in the throat can trigger breathing issues. You will have serious trouble breathing through your nasal cavity (nose). In case cancer develops near the throat or oropharynx, breathing will become difficult with time. And, when the tumor becomes big, you will not be able to swallow.
The actual host of symptoms depends on many factors and “location” plays a very important role. For example, if the cancer is more towards your windpipe you will experience wheezing and shortness of breath.