Motivation and Education

Early Signals, Lifelong Impact: Why Ignoring Symptoms Can Endanger Your Health

Early Signals, Lifelong Impact: Why Ignoring Symptoms Can Endanger Your Health

It is fair to say that, for most people, life is busy. Life, family, jobs, and hobbies can make it all too easy to overlook issues that could point to something that’s going wrong. With health, this can mean delaying medical treatment because you’re working and overlooking symptoms that may not be as innocent as they appear.

Of course, nowhere is this more common than the early signs of cancer, which vary based on where the cancer cells are growing. In this article, some of the less serious or noticeable symptoms of throat cancer will be explored so you can assess whether you need to make a doctor’s appointment. So, read on to learn more.

Why Ignoring Symptoms Can Endanger Your Health

EDITORS NOTE: some, many of these issues are VERY common for a new quitter to deal with. We typically say, symptoms like these that occur within the first few weeks of your quit, you can attribute to your quit. That said, seeking an opinion from your doctor will give you great peace of mind, especially early in your quit. 

A Cough

A persistent cough has become a red flag since 2020 (for obvious reasons) and can have multiple causes. For some people, it may be due to a chest infection; for others, it may be due to acid reflux. For the unlucky few, a cough that won’t go away can be one of the first signs of throat cancer.

So, as the old adverts used to state, if you’ve had a persistent cough for more than 2 weeks, contact your doctor for a checkup. If you have immediate concerns that it may be cancer, contact an organization like the Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, Florida), as well as seeking medical attention from your family health provider.

A Sore Throat

When you suffer from gastro-intestinal reflux disease (or GERD), you may be used to having a sore throat. You may also have a sore throat more regularly than other people if you have allergies.

Of course, a persistent sore throat that’s not linked to acid reflux or exposure to animals, for example, will need to be looked at by a medical team. This is all the more crucial if there’s soreness when you swallow, and difficulty swallowing.

A Hoarse/Raspy Voice

This is a symptom that’s a lot harder to miss. Many people will have had a sore throat at one time or another and can likely remember the raspy or hoarse voice that comes along with it. When that voice is accompanied by a sore throat, it’s typical, but if it appears on its own, then you need to contact a doctor. This change in vocal patterns may be due to the cancer cells applying pressure to the voice box or larynx or may indicate that the larynx itself is swollen due to a cancerous growth.

Nasal Congestion

Following on from the cold/flu analogy, many people who have a cold or flu will get nasal congestion, which can lead to headaches. It’s much the same when the underlying cause is throat cancer and is most commonly seen presenting on one side. So, you may have one nostril that’s blocked constantly, rather than the typical switching between blocked airways.

Ear Pain

The nerves in the mouth, throat, and ears are connected, hence why you get an earache when your teeth are causing you trouble! If you notice anything unusual about your ears, such as constant pain, a feeling of being blocked, or even the ringing of tinnitus, then you need to talk to your medical doctor or an audiologist, as this is also a symptom of throat cancer.

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