Q. What are the symptoms for head and neck cancer?

A.

With any symptoms, it is necessary to check with your doctor in order to properly diagnose a medical condition. Normally, cancers that start in the neck are grouped with cancers of the head (primarily the mouth, nose, and throat). The warning signs of head and neck cancer include:

  • Painless white patch or red patch in the mouth
  • Hoarseness or change in voice
  • Sore throat
  • Painless lump in the mouth or neck
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or breathing
  • Frequent nosebleed, particularly on one side of the nose
  • Hearing loss or ear pain, particularly in one ear
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm
  • Weight loss or fatigue

Each year, more than 35,000 people develop head and neck cancer in the United States. However, only through physical examination and by performing various diagnostic tests, including tissue analysis, are doctors able to confirm a diagnosis of cancer with certainty. As with many cancers, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better the chances for successful treatment.