Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School



When throat cancer affects your vocal cords, the first symptom is a change in your voice. You may sound hoarse or raspy. Other symptoms of throat cancer include

  • painful or difficult swallowing

  • a sore throat that doesn't go away

  • a sense of a "lump in the throat" or a constant need to swallow

  • swelling or pain in the neck

  • enlarged glands (lymph nodes) in the neck

  • a chronic cough

  • wheezing

  • unexplained weight loss

  • coughing up blood.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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