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Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2009

can anyone tell me what the sysptoms of neck and head cancer is????? the drs found 3 bumps on me one on the throat just under the right jaw and one on the back of the tounge and one in my nose.......... going tuesday for swallow and and new ct tests....thanks just getting more and more worried

pattyanny's picture
Posts: 544
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Diana, I can tell by your post you are very, very worried, and Tuesday seems so far away. I was there once too. But now, after 35 radiation tx and 15+ chemos, and my first PET scan looming over me this Thursday, you need to take one step at a time. Did the Doctor mention cancer? I figured he must have, because you would not have come here. Unfortunately, with cancer there is no "pat" answer. Everyone is different. There can be many symptoms, then again, it can sneak up on you (like mine did on me)and the symptoms can be very minimal.
I know you must be filled with a flood of different emotions, but you mustn't let fear take over your life. You have come to the right place for support and answers, but right now, have the tests and get the results. Stay positive, and ask your doctor many questions. Write them down, and keep copies of all your tests & results. There are so many kind, informative, and knowledgeble survivors here to help, but you need more info. I know I could not have gotten this far without the wisdom of the veteran survivors, who now I consider my friends. Hang in there,and please come back with an update after your tests. Be strong, be positive and do not think the worst.
My prayers are with you! God Bless!

micktissue's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Diana. I had no symptoms other than a small lump in my neck. Your bumps can be anything. If they suspect squamous cell carcinoma (it is a very distinctive lesion, by the way), they will need to do a biopsy to determine the type of cell it is. H&N cancer symptoms - and remember there are other non-lethal things that can cause these - may include:

sore throat that does not go away
painless lump in neck
numbness in face muscles
face, chin or neck swelling and/or pain that does not go away
trouble breathing or speaking
frequent headaches
pain or ringing in the ears or trouble hearing
pain when swallowing

For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute's info page on Head and Neck Cancer at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/head-and-neck/.

Typically, head and neck cancers are slow growing. The problem is, for example in my case, symptoms can be so subtle that they get missed. By the time I knew I had cancer I was stage IV, not good. Make sure you tell your Dr that you are scared you have cancer and advocate firmly for them to investigate fully your symptoms (they need to biopsy the bumps). Do not take this lightly. Information is your friend. You are scared but that doesn't mean you cannot be a strong advocate for yourself. If there is someone who can go with you to the appointments please ask them to help you advocate for a thorough investigation of your symptoms.

Use this site for all your questions and for support. The people here are awesome and all of us have been where you are right now.

Warmly and In Solidarity,


Posts: 170
Joined: Dec 2009

Dearest Diana,

I know the fear and the worry you're experiencing right now, I experienced the same feelings last month. I congratulate you on two very important things, first, for not waiting to be tested, due to circumstances out of my control I waited a year before being tested. Secondly, you found this site and several people that freely share their support, their experiences, their compassion and their priceless information.

Please take in a relaxing breath and know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now as you have put yourself in the care of doctors that specialize in "bumps".

You will be in my prayers Diana, we are hoping you have a good report and if not, please know that everyone is here to support you.

Your friend,


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

Try not to be afraid or worry but stay positive no matter what the out come. Sometime is it nothing more then just a swelling gland in the neck other times yes it can be cancer, but remember that Cancer is curable. As you can see there are a lot of us here as living proof to that fact, either way we will be here to help and support you all the way through. We will be waiting and praying for you.

God Bless

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

My sympyoms were very subtle.. Actually I had a slight irritation in the back of my throat. It wasn't severe, but didn't seem to get worse or better, just lingered.

I remember waiting for it to heal so I could get a flu shot. This was October 2008. In mid November I guess, I went to see my General MD. He didn't eally take it serious, gave me an antibiotic that didn't work after tend days or so. I saw him again, this time a strnoger anti-biotic, still nothing.

We left it that if it hadn't improved over the Holidays, I'd see an ENT. urinf December, I started to get a lump on the same side of my nech, not big, just noticeable to me....

My ENT was very well informed. Once he checked me out and did a CT, he was suspect of throat cancer, a really shocker as I've never smoked or used tobacco. He also felt that HPV was a very real possibility of the source. He turned out to be correct. I was diagnosed with SCC stage III in the tonsil, which did come back as HPV related.

The lump eventually went away with treatment (Chemo, then chemo and radiation).

Be aware of changes in your body and remember you are in charge of finding the best doctors and sprcialists available for you.

That's just my expereince with symptoms and diagnosis. Hopefully yours will be nothing serious and all will be well for you.Keep us posted and ask as many questions as you like, there's a wealth of experioence and knowledge on this forum, be glad that you have found it.

It's been a year now since I was originally diagnosed. I completed my treatments and have been clear of cancer on all to date, hoping and praying that will be the case from now on out. Stay positive and don't worry, whatever the outcome, you have power.

God Bless,

delnative's picture
Posts: 450
Joined: Aug 2009

I started noticing a little blood in my saliva. I thought it was a dental problem, or perhaps a sinus problem. But then I started getting a sore throat, and it was pretty obvious the blood was coming from my throat. Stupidly, I put off going to the doctor -- until one day, when my throat began to bleed copiously and I wound up in the ER.
I know you're worried, but you're doing the right thing by seeing your doctor and getting tests now.
Best of luck to you.

--Jim in Delaware

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

Two large lumps on the left side of my neck. Kept hoping they would go away, or my eyes were deceiving me- until they got so large that there was no denying they were what the biopsy on the top tumor confirmed- positive NPC. No other symptoms that I noticed- just two large, and growing, lumps/masses in my neck.

Others have listed the symptoms to look for, and I would urge you to consider them as valid. The sooner you get things checked-out, the better it is.


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