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Have lump in throat. Tender to touch. Feel numb, tingling, and crawling. Suffer fever and night sweats. Throat cancer?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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I have had a lump on one side of my throat for about 2 years now. It started out about the size of a pea, then graduated to size of a dime over the first year. After the second year it has grown to the size of a quarter. It is tender to the touch. It is located in the v of the jaw and neck line. I now have nerve sensations on my cheeks, eyebrows, lips, and jaws. It feels like these places are numb, tingling, and crawling. My jaw bone hurts now. My neck is also beginning to become stiff feeling. The back of my neck hurts all the way down to my shoulders. Have been having a couple degree fever along for a while and night sweats. Haven't lost much weight, but have lost several inches all way down my body. Went down a size in clothes this past year. My question to you is what is the percentage that this lump is an infection salivary gland? It seems to me that after two years it would have cleared up by now unless it is salivary stone? Do you think it is a much worse scenario such as throat cancer? I am pretty worried about it. Thank you for your time.
Posted Fri, 19 Jul 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get a USG (Ultrasound) of the Neck and an FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology) of the lump done. This will settle the tissue diagnosis.

2. The differential otherwise includes lymph nodes ( especially tuberculosis should be ruled out with your history), salivary glands, thyroid related lumps (including thyroglossal cysts), branchial cysts, lymphomas and so on. Most of these would be benign.

3. Get a videolaryngoscopy and a neck examination done to rule out throat cancer, which would have other symptoms as well.

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Follow-up: Have lump in throat. Tender to touch. Feel numb, tingling, and crawling. Suffer fever and night sweats. Throat cancer? 8 hours later
I am pleased that you suggested these test from a ENT. I have an appointment next week but didn't know what test to request if the doctor didn't do them on his own. I did not list all of my symptoms on my initial question. I also have a persistent cough, difficulty swallowing food, get choked on liquids sometimes too, have to clear my throat all the time, and it feels like there has been a lump way deep in my throat since 2004. I told my family doctor about the lump in 2004, but I think he just associated it with my thyroid. With these other symptoms, do I need any other type of test performed?
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later

Thank you for writing back.

1. These tests will suffice.

2. In light of the above symptoms, you must get yourself checked.

3. At the most you may add routine blood tests and sputum (if any) examination to the list.

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

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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