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Pain in neck while swallowing, sore throat. Nasopharyngeal cancer?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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Sharp pain on side of neck when swallowing
Hi -- this is tough to describe, but I've been getting a sharp pain on the right side of my neck, right under the jaw and not far from the ear. It seems to be triggered by swallowing, or turning my head, or sometimes talking. It's been happening for a few days. I don't get it every time I swallow. There's no lump/lymph node swelling, but when I press deeply in the affected area, it seems that there's some tenderness. I would *not* describe this as a sore throat. I've had those before -- the pain feels like it's not in the throat, just XXXXXXX in the neck, on the side near the ear. An ENT has been treating me for Sinusitis for a few months -- have had 2 antibiotic courses. The congestion symptoms aren't that bad, but they aren't gone either. Wondering if this could be connected to that -- maybe some kind of inflammation in/near my ear? My worry from Googling is Nasopharyngeal cancer. I've also been noticing spots of blood when I blow my nose for a few months. Seem to be from both nostrils. ENT doesn't seem worried about that, but I am. I'm a 32yo male btw.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query

First of all, let me reassure you that it is very unlikely that you are suffering from nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). There are no symptoms of NPC such as trismus (difficulty in opening the mouth), earache, otitis media, hearing loss, nasal regurgitation, etc. moreover, the initial presentation of NPC will be presence of lymphnode in the neck, which you don't have.

The commonest causes of pain below the jaw and lower part of the ear are Eustachian tube block, ulcer in the throat, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and lymphadenitis (inflammation of the lymphnodes).

With respect to your problem, I feel it could be either due to an ulcer in the tonsillar region or Eustachian tube block secondary to sinusitis. But, only after a thorough examination the actual cause can be found out.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for further queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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