Symptoms

Each head and neck cancer may have specific symptoms depending on the type, location, and stage of the cancer. The list below provides general symptoms associated with head and neck cancer.  

  • A lump or swelling in the neck, under the chin, or around the jawbone
  • Ear pain or ear aches
  • A sore in the mouth that does not heal 
  • A sore in the mouth that bleeds easily
  • Red or white patches on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Frequent headaches
  • Swelling in the eyes or vision problems
  • Pain in the upper teeth
  • Chronic or long-lasting nasal congestion
  • Chronic sinus infections that do not get better with treatment 
  • A long-lasting sore throat 
  • Persistent hoarseness or a change in the voice 
  • Persistent and new pain in the neck, throat, or ears 
  • Bloody mucous in the sputum 
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving the jaws or tongue 
  • Numbness in the tongue or other areas 
  • Numbness of facial muscles
  • Sudden loosening of teeth 
  • Swelling in the mouth 
  • Dentures or orthodontic apparatus that no longer fit 
  • Changes or discoloration in a mole
  • A skin sore that will not heal or bleeds easily 
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble speaking
The above symptoms may also be associated with other conditions and diseases. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not mean that you have a head and neck cancer. However, if you are concerned that you may have cancer, you should contact your doctor immediately.