Men have a higher chance of developing throat cancer than women, but it is wise for women also to know the disease's common symptoms so it can be diagnosed and treated early. One of the most common signs of throat cancer in women is a constant sore throat, though frequent coughing and bloody phlegm are also likely to develop. It may also be difficult to speak, swallow or even breathe, depending on the stage of cancer. Other signs of illness may not seem related to the throat at all, but can include earaches, mouth sores and, in the late stages of the cancer, facial disfigurement.
A sore throat that never seems to go away is often one of the first signs of throat cancer. Women can differentiate between a sore throat caused by cancer and one from a cold by attempting to treat it with the typical sore throat remedies. If the pain persists and there are no other symptoms that would indicate a cold, strep throat or other common condition, the woman should see a medical professional. This is especially the case if the sore throat is accompanied by a chronic cough and bloody phlegm.
Because the throat is used for speaking and eating, but may become difficult as a result of throat cancer. Women with late-stage throat cancer may not be able to speak at all, while those who can may notice that their voice is suddenly hoarse most of the time. Difficulty swallowing food or drinks may lead to gradual weight loss. Those in the late stages of cancer may even have difficulty breathing, because the tumor can obstruct the airway.
Some common signs of throat cancer in women do not appear to have much to do with the throat at all, which can make it hard for many individuals to think of throat cancer as a possibility. For instance, some women with this condition experience constant earaches resulting from the tumor's pressure on nerves in the area. Once the cancer spreads from the throat to nearby areas, facial features may change, because the lymph nodes and eyes often become swollen. Nosebleeds, mouth sores and neck pain are also often signs of throat cancer, and the entire face is usually affected in the late stages.