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Throat cancer symptoms are primarily concentrated in the mouth and esophagus. Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers typically cause symptoms in the mouth (including the lips, gums and inner cheeks), while laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers more commonly cause symptoms in the throat, neck and voice box. However, any abnormal symptoms – regardless of where they originate – should be discussed with a medical professional if they do not heal on their own after several days. In most cases, these symptoms are caused by something other than cancer, but prompt action can lead to improved outcomes and quality of life in the event that cancer is present.

The most common symptoms of throat cancer include:

  • Pain in the mouth, neck, ears or sinuses
  • Red or white discoloration on the gums, tongue, tonsils or inner cheeks
  • Difficulty or pain when chewing or swallowing
  • Changes in vocal tone or pitch
  • Hoarseness
  • A recurrent cough or sore throat
  • Palpable lumps in the cheeks or neck
  • Unexplained weight loss

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we offer diagnostic consultations to individuals with and without physician referrals. Our oncologists diagnose and treat a full spectrum of malignancies affecting the head and neck, including oral, oropharyngeal, laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. Their wide-ranging expertise and continued involvement in leading-edge research allows them to promptly and accurately assess the thousands of patients who turn to our team for individualized attention.

For more information about throat cancer symptoms or to request an appointment with a physician in the Head and Neck Cancer Program at Moffitt, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.

Oral Cavity or Throat Cancer