SPONSORED: Ear, Nose and Throat cancers rank high in Wisconsin

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- “It’s more common in the Wisconsin than the majority of the U.S. likely because of our habits here, so a lot more smoking and drinking in this area,” Dr. Brookes said.

Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, Dr. Matt Brookes says ear, nose and throat cancers typically fly under the radar.

“It’s not one of those cancers that are in your face as other cancers, like breast cancer or lung cancer.”

Nearly 2,400 people in Wisconsin are diagnosed annually with one of these cancers, according to the CDC; and men are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed as women.

“One becoming more common is a neck cancer that associated with the HPV virus,” Dr. Brookes said.

Severe ear pain, hoarseness or lumps in your throat can all be symptoms of an ear, nose or throat cancer. However, you shouldn't be too concerned unless they're chronic and still causing you pain after 3 weeks.

“My rule of thumb is I’ll look at something, if it looks a little suspicious we'll bring them back in 3 weeks,” said Dr. Jason Kelbel, a dentist at the Marshfield Clinic Dental Center. “If it's gone in 3 weeks, maybe it’s just they bit on something sharp or ate something hot.”

Many people get sore throats every now and then, which Dr. Brookes says is a common symptom of acid reflux. But, if you are concerned you should get it checked out.

“So it’s one of those things you have the chronic sore throat and you’re doing salt water gargles, doing everything your mom taught you and it’s still not going away, then it’s really time to see a doctor.”

Dr. Kelbel adding, “The earlier its detected and diagnosed, the early it can be treated, the better the outcome for patients.”

This segment is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic Health Systems.