Jul 17, 2013 9:22 AM by Marissa Torres
The simple life-saving symptoms you can no longer afford to ignore.
Joe Cox likes to hang with his buddies on the golf course, but his time on the links was limited last year after he made a discovery.
"It's kind a funny I was sitting there shaving one morning when I went down and I found this lump."
He thought it was a dental issue, but soon learned it was cancer.
"It hits you like there is a punch to the stomach like no other it's like when they say to you, tell you you have the big C... it gets ya."
"Our patients in general can have a cancer really anywhere from the front of their mouth all the way down to their voice box which is right down here." says Dr. Ed Krowiak.
He adds, the number of head and neck cancer cases are rising because patients generally don't recognize the symptoms and delay getting care.
"If you have trouble swallowing if you have a lump in your throat especially if you see or feel a lump in your neck that really means you need to come and see somebody."
Other symptoms are a sore in your mouth, a raspy voice, a sore throat. As for Joe, his cancer was in his tonsil.
So when his friend, Greg Edwards, mentioned he had a pesky sore throat, Joe urged him to get it checked out.
As it turned out, Edwards had head and neck cancer too.
"I would probably be dead i presume I am grateful to Joe I'm thankful to that screening you know bottom line they caught it early."
That screening process involves a thorough exam of the mouth and the neck to see if there are any lymphnodes enlarged in the neck area.
If you're a smoker or a drinker, you're at a higher risk for head and neck cancer.