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Signs and Symptoms of Oropharyngeal Cancer

Oropharyngeal cancer is a cancer that occurs in the middle part of the pharynx, which includes the back of the tongue, the soft palate, and the sides and back wall of the throat. Most oropharyngeal cancer is of the squamous cell carcinoma type, in which thin, flat cells line the inside of the oropharynx. A growing body of research shows that the human papillomavirus (HPV) is an increasing cause of oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of Oropharyngeal Cancer are as follows:

  • Persistent sore throat
  • Painful swallowing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Cough
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Ear pain
  • Voice changes
  • A lump in the throat
  • A lump in the neck
  • Pain behind the breastbone

These signs and symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer mimic many other disorders. If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, please see your doctor.

The risk factors for oropharyngeal cancer include smoking, alcohol consumption, betel chewing, drinking mate tea, and being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Men are more affected than women, and the incidence is highest in India, Latin America, and in Northern Europe. The incidence of oropharyngeal cancer is increasing in the US and Northern Europe, primarily because of an increase in HPV infection in those countries. The HPV virus is transmitted through oral sex.

Diagnosis of Oropharyngeal Cancer

A diagnosis of oropharyngeal cancer is made through imaging tests such as a CT scan, and MRI and a PET scan. A tissue biopsy is used to confirm a suspected diagnosis of oropharyngeal cancer.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Oropharyngeal Cancer

21st Century Ultimate Medical Guide to Oropharyngeal Cancer – Authoritative, Practical Clinical Information for Physicians and Patients, Treatment Options (Two CD-ROM Set)
PM Medical Health News

he Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Oropharyngeal Cancer: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age
ICON Health Publications

Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer: Oropharyngeal cancer
Diane M. Calabrese

Treatment of advanced oropharyngeal cancers with chemotherapy and radiation. (Original Article).: An article from: Ear, Nose and Throat Journal
Maria M. LoTempio

Oropharyngeal Cancer Resources

General Patient Resources

  • National Cancer Institute

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer.

  • Your Cancer Today

General Information About Oropharyngeal Cancer.

  • Livestrong . com

Lifestyle, fitness & health information about Oropharyngeal Cancer. 5 Things You Need to Know About Oropharyngeal Cancer.

  • US Oncology

Get an overview, a list of symptoms, and information about common treatments for oral cancer and oropharyngeal cancer.

  • RD

Oropharyngeal cancer information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

  • MD News

Oropharyngeal cancer has been a recent focus since the news of Michael Douglas’s fight with this disease.

  • Everyday Health

Understanding Oropharyngeal Cancer Knowing the risk factors and warning signs of this cancer, sometimes called throat cancer, can lead to an early diagnosis.

  • Cancer Help UK

All about mouth and oropharyngeal cancer. Information on symptoms and causes, tests to diagnose mouth cancer, treatment including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy and current research. Living with mouth and oropharyngeal cancer covers coping with your diagnosis and the possible effects of cancer and treatment.

Medical Resources

  • Web MD

A discussion of stage IV oropharyngeal cancer.