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Just a Sore Throat? Head and Neck Cancer Symptoms

A cough or sore throat that doesn't respond to treatment may be a cancer symptom.
A cough or sore throat that doesn’t respond to treatment may be a cancer symptom.

Almost everyone experiences a sore throat, cough or hoarseness once in awhile. But with head and neck cancer, these symptoms linger and don’t respond to treatments. Other head and neck cancer symptoms include:

  • Dentures that don’t fit as well as they used to
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Changes in your speech
  • The inability to breathe through one nostril
  • New lumps or bumps on your head or neck

“Smoking is far and away the most common reason that people get cancers of the mouth, throat and voice box,” says Paul Read, MD, who specializes in head and neck cancer. “If we could have people stop smoking and never smoke again, we’d see far fewer head and neck cancers.”

Excessive alcohol consumption and the HPV virus can also lead to these cancers.

Learn more about how we diagnose and treat head and neck cancer in this week’s podcast:


Tags: cancer

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