Finding out you have a tumor is scary. You may wonder what effect it will have on your life. As you and your healthcare providers decide on your treatment, make sure to address your concerns . And moving forward, your healthcare team can help you learn ways to help yourself.
What is a tumor?
A tumor is a mass of abnormal cells. It is either slow growing and not cancer (benign) or fast growing and cancer (malignant). Some tumors, especially cancerous ones, can be life-threatening. But most tumors can be treated.
Who is at risk for a cancerous tumor?
You are more likely to get a tumor of the mouth or throat if you:
- Smoke cigarettes, pipes, or cigars
- Use chewing tobacco or snuff
- Drink alcohol
- Take poor care of your teeth
- Are exposed to certain industrial chemicals
- Had a mouth or throat tumor in the past
- Have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
Symptoms of a tumor in the throat
If you have a throat tumor, you or your healthcare provider may have noticed one or more of the following:
- Hoarseness that doesn’t go away
- Trouble swallowing
- A lump in your neck
- Pain that doesn’t go away
- Aching, pain, or pressure in your ear
- Persistent coughing with or without bloody sputum