What are the signs and symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer depend on where the cancer is, its size and how far it has spread in the body. 

Oropharyngeal cancer can show up in different ways. 

Common signs and symptoms may include:

  • a sore throat that doesn’t go away

  • a sore (like an ulcer) in the throat

  • a lump in the throat

  • a lump in the neck (this is common and may be the only sign in many people)

  • trouble swallowing food, or moving the tongue

  • trouble opening the mouth

  • trouble breathing

  • noisy breathing

  • ear pain

  • ​coughing up blood

  • ​voice change 

  • unexplained weight loss. 

Most often these symptoms are not from oropharyngeal cancer. However, if you have any of these symptoms for more than a few weeks, talk to your doctor as early as possible. They may be able to help diagnose  and treat you.