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The symptoms of a head and neck cancer will depend on where it is.
This video provides a general overview of oral cancer and its treatment.
The information in this video was correct as of 1 July 2011.
Common symptoms include:
Less common symptoms include:
Although these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than cancer, it’s important to have them checked out by your GP or dentist, particularly if they continue.
If a cancer in the mouth or throat spreads from where it started, the first place it will usually spread to is the lymph nodes in the neck. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that are part of the lymphatic system|.
The cancer may begin to grow in the lymph nodes. This can show up as a painless lump in the neck.
Enlarged lymph nodes are much more likely to be due to an infection than to cancer. But if you have a lump on your neck that hasn’t gone away within 3-4 weeks, it should be examined by a specialist doctor.
Content last reviewed: 1 November 2012
Next planned review: 2014
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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