Symptoms of head and neck cancers

In their early stages, head and neck cancers may have no symptoms. There are many possible symptoms when they do occur. However, these symptoms can also occur with other illnesses, so they don’t necessarily mean you have cancer – only tests can confirm the diagnosis.

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your general practitioner (GP) without delay.

Learn more about the symptoms of these head and neck cancers:


Mouth cancer

Mouth (oral) cancer

 

  • mouth pain or pain when swallowing
  • a persistent sore or swelling in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • red or white patches on the gums, tongue or mouth
  • bad breath
  • changes in speech or difficulty pronouncing words
  • difficulty chewing or swallowing food, difficulty moving the tongue, or limited chewing
  • weight loss
  • a lump in the neck
  • loose teeth, or dentures that no longer fit
  • earache or ringing in the ears

Nasal cancer

Nasal or paranasal sinus cancer

  • decreased sense of smell
  • a persistent blocked nose, particularly in one nostril, or a blocked ear
  • frequent nosebleeds
  • excess mucus in the throat or back of nose
  • frequent headaches or sinus pressure
  • difficulty swallowing
  • loose or painful upper teeth
  • a lump on/in the face, nose or mouth
  • numbness of the face, upper lip, or within the mouth or upper teeth
  • pressure or pain in ears
  • a bulging or watery eye
  • double vision
  • complete or partial loss of eyesight

Salivary gland cancerSalivary gland cancer

  • swelling or a lump near the ear, jaw or lip, or inside the mouth 
  • different appearance on each side of the face or neck 
  • difficulty swallowing or widely opening the mouth 
  • drooping, numbness or muscle weakness on one side of the face (palsy)

Pharyngeal cancer

Pharyngeal cancer

  • throat pain or difficulty swallowing 
  • a persistent sore throat or cough 
  • coughing up bloody phlegm 
  • bad breath 
  • weight loss 
  • voice changes or hoarseness 
  • dull pain around the breastbone 
  • a lump in the neck 
  • pain in the ear or frequent ear infections 
  • feeling that your air supply is blocked 
  • numbness of the face 
  • nasal congestion 
  • hearing loss 
  • headache

Laryngeal cancer

Laryngeal cancer

  • swelling or a lump in the neck or throat 
  • a persistent sore throat 
  • a persistent change in the sound of your voice, including hoarseness 
  • difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing 
  • constant coughing 
  • difficulty breathing 
  • weight loss
  • pain in the ear

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on head and neck cancers


Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in September 2019
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