7 symptoms of neck cancer to spot after Rolf Harris dies from disease

Rolf Harris dies aged 93

The disgraced entertainer died in his home in Bray, Berkshire, on May 10, according to his death certificate.

Having left prison six years ago after being convicted of sexually assaulting four underage girls, Harris had been “very sick” with the life-threatening tumour.

Cancer Research UK stated there are around 12,400 new head and neck cancer cases in the UK every year.

Macmillan Cancer Support clarified that symptoms of the disease depend on where in the head and neck cancer began and if it has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

There are, however, seven symptoms that require an “urgent referral” to see a specialist.

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  1. An ulcer anywhere in the mouth area (including the tongue) lasting for more than three weeks
  2. A red patch (erythroplakia) or red and white patch (erythroleukoplakia) anywhere inside the mouth
  3. A white patch on its own (leukoplakia) anywhere inside the mouth
  4. A lump in the neck that does not go away after two to three weeks
  5. A lump on the lip or anywhere inside the mouth that does not go away
  6. A sore tongue that is not getting better
  7. Throat pain, persistent hoarseness and difficulty swallowing that is not improving.

Harris reportedly had metastatic squamous cell carcinoma before he died.

The Moffitt Cancer Centre said metastatic squamous cell carcinoma is “uncommon”.

The lesion typically first appears as a “scaly red patch, a firm nodule or a flat or raised sore that may crust over”.

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When skin cancer travels to the lymph nodes in the neck, it is referred to as neck cancer.

As the cancer has metastasised to the neck and collarbone area, the person affected might develop a painful or tender lump in the neck.

There might also be the onset of a sore throat that doesn’t improve or go away.

“Many treatment plans include a combination of surgery to remove skin lesions and affected lymph nodes,” the Moffitt Cancer Centre noted.

How to reduce your risk of head and neck cancers

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) point out four ways to minimise your risk of developing cancer.

For instance, “don’t use tobacco products”, and also “limit the amount of alcohol you drink”.

Another piece of expert advice is to “avoid indoor tanning”, as damage to the skin cells can turn cancerous.

If you think you may have any signs of cancer, it’s strongly advisable to book a doctor’s appointment.

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