Knowing These 6 Signs of Throat Cancer Can Save Your Life

April 11-17th 2021 is Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer awareness week. Well, we feel this important topic needs a month. So for the month of April the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center will present information for Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer awareness.

Otolaryngologists can be the first to detect cancer of the head and neck. While throat or head and neck cancer are the most often used terms, physicians may also refer to the anatomical structure that is affected (pharynx, larynx, tongue, etc.). Cancer can develop when the cells in your throat have genetic mutations which accumulate. Those who are habitual users of alcohol and tobacco are at a higher risk of developing throat cancer. In the last decade, exposure to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has become the most important risk factor for head and neck cancer. Other factors include not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and GERD.

It’s important to note that many of the following symptoms can also be caused by conditions that aren’t cancerous, such as the common cold or sinus infection. Our ENT specialists will help to determine the exact cause of your problems.

  1. Neck Mass
    Not all neck masses are cancer. Other causes include strep throat, goiters, etc. Our ENT physicians will biopsy the mass to determine the cause.
  2. Changes in your voice or hoarseness
    Again, changes in voice quality are a potential sign of neck cancer. If you experience chronic voice problems, schedule an appointment today.
  3. Difficulty swallowing
    Difficulty swallowing, known as the medical term dysphagia, feels like there is something stuck in your throat. This may lead to pain when swallowing and, therefore, reducing your ability to eat solid foods.
  4. Sore throat
    Sore throats are very common in several conditions. However, if you experience a persistent sore throat that does not resolve with treatment please schedule an appointment with us.
  5. Ear pain
    The pain is not actually caused by something in your ear but due to the close proximity to your throat. People often report feeling the pain sensation in their ear.
  6. Unexplained weight loss
    If you experience a loss of weight (10 or more lbs) without any changes to your diet or exercise regime, this could be an indicator of cancer.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, please schedule an appointment with us today so we can determine the underlying cause and create a treatment plan. Schedule your appointment at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center today. Call 847-685-1000

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