Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer
Find out if the symptoms you are experiencing could be warning signs of head and neck cancer.
Have you been a long-term smoker or tobacco consumer? Would you consider yourself a frequent or heavy drinker? If so, these are just some risk factors that could increase your chances of head and neck cancer. If you are noticing some rather unusual symptoms and are worried that it might be cancerous our Irvine, CA ENT doctor, Dr. Victor Strelzow, has some more information about signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.
What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer?
While people with this form of cancer may experience these symptoms below, remember that not all people will show symptoms. Also, some of these symptoms may also be the result of another health problem that our otolaryngologist in Irvine will want to address. Common symptoms include:
- A red or white oral lesion or patch
- Swelling in the head or neck region that won’t go away
- A mass in the head or neck region that may or may not cause pain
- A chronic sore throat
- A change in your voice
- An increase in nosebleeds
- Ear or jaw pain
- Difficulty speaking, chewing or moving your jaw
- Numbness or weakness in the head or neck
- Unexpected weight loss
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is always best to play it safe and visit us as soon as possible. We can evaluate your symptoms, perform an exam and run tests to provide a proper diagnosis.
What are the risk factors associated with head and neck cancer?
It’s important to know whether you are at an increased risk for developing this type of cancer. Even though this doesn’t mean that you will get head or neck cancer, these are some factors that could make you more susceptible:
- Using tobacco products
- Heavy alcohol use
- Age (Individuals over 40 years old)
- Epstein-Barr virus (colloquially referred to as “mono”)
- Poor oral hygiene
- Marijuana use
- Exposure to asbestos, paint fumes or other harmful inhalants
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- A diet that is low in vitamins A and B
We understand that being diagnosed with cancer is scary, but the sooner you seek medical care the sooner you can get treatment and get on the road to recovery. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important that you call our Irvine, CA ENT office as soon as possible.