Definition of Throat Cancer

Reviewed on 11/15/2021

Throat cancer is cancer that develops in the throat. Throat cancer can arise in the voice box (larynx) or the throat (pharynx). The exact cause of throat cancer is not fully understood, but risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Signs and symptoms depend on the exact location of the tumor and the extent of spread but can include

  • difficulty swallowing,
  • hoarseness or other voice changes,
  • sore throat,
  • cough,
  • earache,
  • weight loss,
  • a lump in the neck,
  • headache,
  • a feeling that something is stuck in the throat, or
  • trouble breathing.


Skin Cancer Symptoms, Types, Images See Slideshow
Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.

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