Throat cancers may not cause any symptoms if they are very small and have not spread at the time of diagnosis. Sometimes, an area of irritation or discoloration on the lining issues of the throat is the only sign of an abnormality. Depending upon the extent of spread of the cancer, other symptoms can include swelling of nearby tissues, enlarged lymph nodes, trouble breathing, difficulty speaking, neck or throat pain, ear pain, painful swallowing, and headache. Pain or ringing in the ears may occur in some cases. Bleeding can occur from some throat cancers.