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Weill Cornell Cancer Center

Symptoms

The symptoms of head and neck cancers may vary somewhat depending on the type, location, and stage of cancer. They may include:

  • patches inside the mouth or on the lips that are white, a mixture of red and white, or red
  • a mouth or lip sore that won't heal
  • loose teeth
  • difficulty or pain during swallowing
  • a lump in the neck
  • a persistent earache
  • persistent hoarseness or other unexplained voice changes
  • a persistent sore throat or feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • unexplained weight loss

Because these symptoms may also be associated with conditions other than cancer, a patient should see a doctor to determine the cause.

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