Campuses: FH.com Home button

Oropharyngeal Cancer

Symptoms and Signs of Oropharyngeal Cancer

The best way to detect the symptoms and signs of oropharyngeal cancer is to perform self-exams frequently. If you notice any of these irregular symptoms, schedule an appointment at Florida Hospital for a screening.

  • Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • White or red patch on lining of the throat
  • A lump in the throat
  • Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the throat or mouth
  • Jaw or neck swelling
  • Inner ear pain
  • A voice change
  • Chronic sore throat
  • A feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing or chewing
  • Cough

Some of these symptoms may mirror symptoms of another condition. It’s important to get a medical diagnosis as quickly as possible to get the treatment you need.

Doctors and dentists routinely check for signs of oropharyngeal cancer, but it’s important for high-risk patients to complete self-exams to find symptoms as early as possible. These are the steps to a self-exam for oral cancer:

  • Remove dental appliances (dentures and retainers)
  • Use a mirror and flashlight to look and touch the mouth, lips, gums and tongue for signs of cancer (above)
  • Check the roof the mouth
  • Check the inside of cheeks and both sides of the gums
  • Check the top, sides and undersides of tongue and the floor of the mouth.
  • Check for enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and under jaw

Locations for Oropharyngeal Cancer