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Difficulty speaking, no throat pain. Boils in throat. Is it related to cancer?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
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Hello Sir/Ma'am,
My Mom suffering from severe throat problem, she could not speak for more than a week. She don't feel heavy pain in throat but could not speak. We counsulted doctor and he told that she has some small boils in throat and at present no severe problem. But I am afraid whether is this severe problem like Cancer? Doctor suggested to don't talk for a week then it will be normal. Please advise is this severe problem??
Posted Tue, 9 Apr 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 4 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for the query.

You are right in thinking that a severe throat problem could be cancer. Throat cancer may present with the following symptoms which will rather be permanent; cough, painful or difficulty in swallowing, sore throat and weight loss. Risk factors include tobacco and excessive alcohol intake. The diagnosis of throat cancer requires paraclinical tests such as endoscopy and biopsy which an ENT specialist can do.

The symptoms your mother is presenting with could as well be due to a throat infection which could present with soreness, painful swallowing and even change in voice in the case where the larynx is affected. Weight loss in not common except in the case of a severe infection with deep seated abscess and massive tissue waste. Symptoms of throat infection become cleared off when appropriate antibiotics are given. Presently the doctor is treating her for a throat infection and am sure she was put on some antibiotics and told to take a lot of fluid.

What you should do is to follow the treatment the doctor gave while observing if the symptoms will persist. If they do persist after the treatment, you should consider seeing an ENT specialist for a detail examination including endoscopy test.

Hope I have answered your query.
If you do have more clarifications, I will be ready to help.

Best regards and hope this helps you.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Difficulty speaking, no throat pain. Boils in throat. Is it related to cancer? 17 minutes later
Thank you for your prompt reply Dr. Achuo Ascensius.

I too hope that the doctor gave antibiotic and told to take only before sleep and asked to not speak for a week.

My Mom dont have any of these symptoms, she don't even feel heavy throat pain, and there is not difficulty in swallowing. Only problem is she could not speak.

So based on your reply I consider the problem to my Mom is only throat infection?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 4 hours later
Hello,

Thanks once more for the query.

The fact that your mum does not present with other associated symptoms listed in our previous discussion (pains during swallowing, cough, soreness etc ) is a relevant history. This will imply that other causes have to be considered as importantly as an infection, especially if there is no improvement with time as she receives her antibiotics. Important other causes to consider include a cancer and a stroke. Since she does not have weight loss, cancer should be less likely. It is possible to have a stroke with only the speech being affected (if she has a past history of hypertension, smoking, diabetes or obesity, the diagnosis of stroke could be more likely).
However, only a physical examination and tests could give a more comforting diagnosis. So for now, lets just focus on the Doctor's diagnosis of an infection and if the evolution is not favorable, then we shall investigate for the other differential diagnosis.

Hope I have answered your query. If you do have further clarifications I shall be ready to help. However, if you do not have any further clarifications, you could close the discussion and rate the answer.

Best regards and hope this helps you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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