Symptoms of hypopharyngeal cancer

Hypopharyngeal cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Signs and symptoms often appear as the tumour grows and causes changes in the body so hypopharyngeal cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as hypopharyngeal cancer.

See your doctor if you have these signs or symptoms:

  • difficult or painful swallowing
  • a sore throat that doesn’t go away
  • a feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • ear pain
  • a constant cough
  • coughing up bloody mucus
  • a lump in the neck
  • neck pain
  • hoarseness
  • weight loss
  • blood in your saliva
  • bad breath
  • trouble breathing

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancers. 2014: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/laryngeal-and-hypopharyngeal-cancer.html.
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology. Laryngeal and Hypolaryngeal Cancer. 2016: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/laryngeal-and-hypopharyngeal-cancer/view-all.
  • Carr E . Head and neck malignancies. Yarbro CH, Wujcki D, Holmes Gobel B, (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2018: 56: 1573 - 1598.
  • Hamoir M, Machiels JP, Schmitz S, Gregoire V . Multidisciplinary management of hypopharyngeal carcinoma. Bernier J (ed.). Head and Neck Cancer: Multimodality Management. Springer; 2016: 28: 511-537.
  • Kruser TJ, Pagedar NA, Hoffman HT, Harari PM . Cancers of the hypopharynx and cervical esophagus: general principles and management. Harrison LB, Sessions RB, Kies MS (eds.). Head and Neck Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014: 19: 482 - 509.