Signs of Throat Cancer

All too often, throat cancer symptoms get mistaken for other diseases. Knowing what the signs and symptoms can help you to become more vigilant about detecting early signs of the diesease. Throat cancer is also referred to vocal cord cancer, larynx or glottis cancer. The aim of this article is to create awareness about throat cancer symptoms.

There are many different types of cancers that attack various parts of the human body. Throat cancer is a particularly aggressive type that attacks the voice box or larynx, vocal cords or other parts of the throat. Cancer is a very complex group of diseases with many possible causes including genetics, sun and UV exposure, tobacco and carcinogens.

Unlike most types of cancers, the causes of cancer of the throat are clearly identified. The risk factors associated with the development of the disease include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and use of tobacco. The risk factor is greatly increased with the combination of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Generally the susceptible age for developing the disease is above 50 years of age, with men being roughly ten times more likely to develop the disease than women.

Throat cancer symptoms:

•    Persistent pain in the mouth, difficulty chewing, difficulty swallowing, difficulty moving the tongue
•    Unusual changes in the voice and hoarseness
•    Pain, bleeding or numbness in the mouth that cannot be explained
•    Any lump that forms in the mouth, in the throat or on the lip
•    Pain around the teeth and loosening of the teeth
•    Pain or difficulty in chewing and swallowing
•    Velvety white or red speckled patches that forms on the tongue, lining in the mouth or the gums
•    A sore throat that simply refuses to get better regardless of the antibiotics taken
•    Thickening of the cheek
•    Pain or difficulty in moving the jaw
•    Pain or swelling of the jaw
•    A feeling that there is something stuck in the throat and no amount of coughing or clearing the throat helps
•    Continual earache
•    Pain or swelling of the neck
•    Persistent cough that refuses to get better and is not due to a cold
•    Coughing up blood
•    Bad breath that is followed by a strange high-pitched breathing sound
•    Unintentional and dramatic weight loss
•    Numbness of the tongue or other parts of the mouth
•    Any swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, on the gums, lips or other areas of the inside of the mouth

Other common symptoms include sinuses that are constantly blocked, painful upper teeth, swelling in the eyes, headaches, chronic sinus infections and bleeding through the nose. Paralysis of the facial muscles and pain of the facial region are also associated with throat cancer.

The above signs may also indicate the presence of head and neck cancer.  If you have several of these symptoms and believe you may be at risk of throat cancer you should immediately schedule an appointment with your physician, discuss your symptoms with him or her and have the appropriate tests done.  If caught in the early stages, effective treatments exist that can literally save your life.