Symptoms

The symptoms of head and neck cancer can vary based on the affected location. Some people with head and neck cancer won’t experience these symptoms, and some symptoms may be indicative of conditions that are not cancer.
Possible symptoms include:

  • Swelling or a sore that does not heal
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Lump, bump, or mass in the head or neck area, with or without pain
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Persistent pain in one ear
  • Bad breath odor not explained by hygiene
  • Hoarseness or change in voice
  • Nasal obstruction or persistent nasal congestion
  • Frequent nose bleeds and/or unusual nasal discharge
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Double vision
  • Numbness or weakness of a body part in the head and neck region
  • Pain or difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Jaw pain
  • Blood in the saliva or phlegm, which is mucus discharged into the mouth from respiratory passages
  • Loose teeth
  • Dentures that no longer fit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Ear pain or infection