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Flesh coloured bump on the left side of tonsils, pimple. Can this be cancer, advise?

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ENT Specialist
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When I look in my mouth on the left side of tonsil on top I notice flesh color bump. Really worried it might be cancer or something.and I notice a pimple looking thing on my uvala the uvala a ent look at said nothing worng really worried about bump
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. The appearance, size, exact location of the bump, behavior, growth rate or a close up image will help give a better understanding as to the nature of this flesh colored bump. You may share a close-up image here.

2. Tonsilloliths are concretions of food particles and pus lodged in the natural crypts of the palatine tonsils. The white discharge is sometimes referred to as 'cheesy' or even 'toothpaste' like in consistency. The largest crypt is known as the crypta magna and is located near the upper pole of the palatine tonsil.

3. When we swallow, our palatine tonsils rub against the food bolus and pick up food particles. This food debris decays there while it is analysed for antigens, foreign bodies and organisms by the lymphoid tissue which forms the bulk of the tonsils. Below the age of five years, this is especially important in the deveopment of immunity.

4. A differential will include mostly benign conditions such as a tonsillolith, area of lymphoid hypertrophy, accessory lymphoid tissue, inflamed minor salivary gland tissue, abscess in the peritonsillar space. However this would be unusual without local inflammation and lymph node tenderness in the neck. This may also explain the lesion on the uvula.

5. Imaging studies are of use only to detect any deeper connections or related external masses in the neck.

6. The simplest course of action will be a course of antibiotics, anti-allergics, anti-inflammatory agents and medicated gargles. If there is no improvement, an excision biopsy and a histopathological examination which will reveal the true diagnosis of the bump. As long as it is a limited mass, surgery will be minor. You may follow up with the HPE report here.

7. I must emphasize that the chance of a cancerous growth at your age is rare.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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