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Lump appeared on throat and feeling discomfort. Do I have throat cancer?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2499 Questions
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Hi. Since Jan/Feb Ive had a lump on the right side of my throat. I went to the ENT and he said he didn't see anything, but it's still there. Since then, I've discovered a 'thing' back there that isn't on the other side. I'm worried that I have throat cancer of some kind, especially because I do have HPV.
Posted Wed, 17 Apr 2013 in Cancer
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. Get a Neck USG (Ultrasound) done. This will settle the issue.

2. The most likely cause is a lymph node. There are more than 300 lymph nodes normally present in the head and neck region. They enlarge during infections. After the inflammatory response settles down, they remain palpable, but are not tender. Sub-centimeter nodes are not considered significant.

3. Thyroid swelling move up and down during swallowing.

4. The risk of cancer at your age is low and only certain types of HPV such as 6, 11, 16 and 18, are linked with cancers. HPV is one of the most widespread and common viral infections in the world.

5. Throat cancer will also have other progressive symptoms such as hoarseness or change in voice, difficulty in swallowing and so on. Get a Videolaryngoscopy done.

6. if these investigations are within normal limits, there is no cause for worry.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Lump appeared on throat and feeling discomfort. Do I have throat cancer? 8 hours later
I feel like I wrote a follow up this, but it didn't go through.

I did have hoarseness in my voice initially, but it has since gone away for some time. I'm wondering, with things like throat cancer, can it come and go? Also, I do have a skew of other symptoms: dizziness and blurriness in my right eye (same side as the thing I can see in my throat), neck pain on the right side (which comes and goes), and crackling in my right ear. Dizziness, blurriness in the eye, and crackling have been going on for about a year. I've had MRIs and CT scan to check for brain tumors and MS among other things. Would throat cancer show up in something like that, even if they weren't looking for that in particular?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 29 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. The symptoms of a throat cancer will be progressive. Since the hoarseness has subsided, other causes must be ruled out first.

2. Get a Videolayngoscopy done. Normal MRI and CT Scans along with a normal laryngoscopy will help rule out any throat cancer.

3. The crackling in the ear may be normal Eustachian Tube sounds or a myoclonus. Get a Tympanogram (Impedance Audiogram) done. This measures middle ear pressures.

4. The Dizziness may be due to changes in middle ear pressures. The exact characteristics of the dizziness are important to identify the source. I will be able to guide you better about the possible cause if you can provide me more details of your dizziness like:
a. The exact moment when it all started,
b. How often and how long do the episodes last? Is it continuous?
c. Any other associated symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting or sweating?
d. I need to know if your hearing is normal. Does it fluctuate? Do you get any sounds (tinnitus) or fullness in the ear?
e. Is the dizziness true vertigo (spinning of the surrounding) or only unsteadiness.
f. Is the dizziness only when there is change of position (such as lie down or sit up)? Can you walk without support? Do you get dizzy when you turn in bed or look up while climbing stairs?
g. Is there any tendency to blackout?

5. The blurring of vision will require an eye examination, a neurologist's opinion. Do you have history of any head injury? Any headaches or migraine? Any hyper-acidity or recent cold? Where exactly is the pain in the right side of the neck? You may attach a close-up image with one finger pointing exactly to the exact site.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Lump appeared on throat and feeling discomfort. Do I have throat cancer? 5 minutes later
Dizziness and blurry vision in my right eye started this exact time last year. Lasted about three months and suddenly disappeared.

The ear thing is a crackling. I don't know if my hearing is normal or not. I go for a hearing test on the 2nd.

Last year, when I first got dizzy, it was severe. I couldn't even get out of bed. This time around, it's only when someone moves the bed or if I turn my head real fast or sit in certain positions.

No blacking out and no history of head injuries of any kind. I saw a neuro several times through out this past year, with no real answers. I'm not too worried about any of that standing on its own, really, as it's all happened before and they went away entirely for almost a year before returning (but not as bad). I'm more concerned about it being linked to the thing in my throat since it's all on the right side.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. The blurring of vision and dizziness would be connected to a blood supply problem or a vasculitis. If these symptoms have disappeared in the past, then it is a reversible condition. Get a Color Doppler study of the Neck Vessels done.

2. Your dizziness seems to be positional. BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) must be ruled out. Visit an Neurotologist.

3. Let me know the results of your hearing tests.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Lump appeared on throat and feeling discomfort. Do I have throat cancer? 6 hours later
Hi, it's be again...

this lump is driving me crazy and causing great anxiety. I'm so scared it might be cancer from my past of smoking and/or HPV.

I took a photo of it, and hopefully you can give me more information based on the photo. Please note that it is only on that one side.

WWW.WWWW.WW
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. The lump visible at the back of the throat (Posterior Pharyngeal Wall) is part of what is known as Granular Pharyngitis. This is very common.

2. There are numerous small island of lymphoid tissue (tonsil-like tissue) distributed randomly throughout the throat.

3. These tissue react to various stimuli such as allergy, post nasal drip, acid reflux, foreign bodies and so on.

4. Response to treatment is good. Use a medicated mouth wash to gargle and take a course of antibiotic, anti-allergic medication from your doctor. Sometimes a short course of steroids may be required.

5. It does not even remotely look cancerous, however, if it troubles you, you may get a biopsy done as it is easily accessible. Cautery and radio-frequency ablation is also possible. Other regular follow up is all that is necessary.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Lump appeared on throat and feeling discomfort. Do I have throat cancer? 4 minutes later
Oh my god, you made my night. thank you SO much. Im still going to follow up with my appointment on the 2nd just to be safe. However, you've calmed my anxiety greatly in the meantime. Thank you!
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 5 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

There is no substitute for a direct examination. You may follow up directly at bit.ly/dr-sumit-bhatti

Wishing you good health,

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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