What are the early warning signs of head and neck cancers?
Cancers of the head and neck can cause many different symptoms. These symptoms can vary depending on where the cancer is located. They often resemble cold or flu symptoms. You should see a doctor if these symptoms don’t go away within two weeks.
Common warning signs of head and neck cancers include:
- A sense of a blockage in your nose or sinuses
- Changes in skin coloring or moles, or lumps on the face, neck, or throat
- Crusts, lumps, sores, swelling, or thick spots in the mouth or on the skin of the head or neck
- Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw, such as to chew, speak, or swallow
- Dramatic weight loss
- Ear pain, ringing in the ears, or trouble hearing
- Hoarseness or change in your voice that lasts for a long time
- Loosened teeth, a change in the way your teeth fit together, or a change in the fit of your dentures
- Pain, numbness, or tenderness in the ears, face, mouth, or neck
- Persistent sore throat, or the feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
- Unexplained bleeding
- White or red patches in the mouth
Is my family at risk for head and neck cancers?
Head and neck cancers can be passed down through families in some cases. If we suspect this may be the case for your family, we’ll talk with you about genetic screening by our advanced genetics laboratory.
If the results of your genetic screening indicate a cause for concern, we’ll work with you and your family members to arrange additional tests or care as needed.
Tests for specific types of head and neck cancers
We offer a full array of screening and diagnostic procedures for different kinds of head and neck cancers, including skin cancer. These include: